WINCHESTER'S MP has raised concerns about anxiety in children as schools get set to re-open.

Steve Brine told the Commons: “I think, minister, can we please be brave and face the issue of statutory testing at primary levels at this time?

“Having missed two years now of these tests, I think maybe this is a moment to draw breath and check that they are what we want to do and they are for the right reasons.”

The Winchester MP also told the debate: “I think in my area educational catch up will be OK in the short to medium-term, but the anxiety and the mental health challenge that I’m hearing is structural – it’s a structural weakness that is undermining it all.

“I have heard from so many constituents and parents who have said that they’re pleased schools are going back from March 8, but the children are nervous about going back, they’ve got used to not being out in society… they are incredibly anxious about doing so and that is a structural challenge that’s going to be with them long after the catch up programmes have done their best.

“I think masks for the anxious are really not helping so I welcome very much the Government’s intention to review that after the Easter holidays.”