CONTROVERSIAL tests for primary school children will be overhauled and performance tables reviewed under wide-ranging plans announced by Education Secretary Charles Clarke yesterday.

The Standard Assessment Tests for seven-year-olds are to be less formal and will become part of a broader assessment of youngsters' abilities by their own teachers.

Schools will also be given control of setting their own targets for 11-year-olds, taking account of their own children and their abilities, under the Excellence and Enjoyment strategy for primary schools unveiled yesterday.

Teaching unions welcomed the plans but said that some of the moves did not go far enough to reduce teacher workloads and stress on pupils.

But Mr Clarke said that targets, tables and testing were "here to stay".