Thousands of primary school children in the UK will be getting an extra long spring bank holiday this week, as parents who are determined to see an end to the standardised testing regime keep them home from school..

The primary tests in England which happen at second and sixth grade are tied to the new national curriculum which emphasises grammar, spelling and punctuation at the expense of creative writing and reading for pleasure. The tests are full of deadly dull questions about transitive and intransitive verbs, 'fronted adverbials' and gap filling and as they are high stakes, many teachers are feeling under pressure to drill their students to pass them.

A parents' group called `let our kids be kids' is organising the walkout. As one parent puts it on their website:

We fail them if we do not listen to them and support them in their yearning to learn. Not parrot dogma, but to explore, question, investigate, debate, communicate, listen, enquire, observe: all the stuff that used to be considered learning.  That’s why he and his sister are striking on May 3rd. That is why I am taking a day off work to support them.
Parents all over the country are organising fun and truly educational activities for children on the day like nature trails, visiting museums and playing in the woods.
The right wing UK government is coming under increasing pressure from both teaching unions and heads to cancel the tests - however so far they don't appear to be listening. As the organisers of the walkout put it: 'no one is listening to the voice of parents, teachers, heads or unions saying the school system is a mess… maybe taking the kids out of school for the day might make an impact?We’re sick of whinging in the school yard about the state of things and think it’s time to make a stand.'
These deadening tests are all part of the global corporate 'reform' agenda, which wants to see education for the majority of children turned into a system of drilling, to cut off any possibility of creative and critical thinking, even as mega corporations like Pearson turn the training of children globally into hard cash.
It would be good to see this great UK school strike initiative joining hands with others across the world - for example United Opt Out in the US.