It would represent a return to a system largely phased out across Britain more
than 30 years ago.
Mrs Goddard Blythe said: “When my eldest son started school, these checks were
done as a matter of routine; it was very simple things like stand on one
leg, hop to the other side of the room, pile some bricks and simple vision
and hearing tests.
“But by the time my second son, who is now 28, started school those tests had
largely been phased out.
“The result is that we have several generations of children who are not quite
bad enough to be picked up as having a medical problem but, at the time of
school entry, don’t have the physical ability to be able to succeed to the
level of their potential.”
She said that growing numbers of infants were entering reception classes
without key motor skills because of modern child rearing techniques.
Too many children are denied the chance to exercise and take part in free play
after being stuck in baby chairs or placed in front of screen-based
entertainment for hours at a time, she said.
Pupils without these skills often struggle with the physical demands of the
classroom, she said, meaning they were much more likely to make a slow start
in the three-Rs and fail later in their primary and secondary education.
The Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology has now pioneered a series of
exercises for children aged seven to 17 to enable them to develop balance
control, good posture and co-ordination, which are essential to support
Exercises, which have already been introduced into a series of primary and
secondary schools, include asking pupils to lie on their stomach and learn
to hold their head in line with the body to “replicate the movement patterns
a baby should have had in the first year of life”.
At one primary school in Derbyshire, pupils did the exercises for 10 minutes a
day throughout the academic year.
Last summer, all pupils reached the national standard expected of 11-year-olds
in English and math tests, up from just 56 per cent two years ago.
Jackie Micklethwaite, head teacher of Brailsford CofE primary, said: “We have
seen great improvements in most of the children we have put through these