Children should sit more exams at a younger age as an antidote for exam pressure, the Schools Minister has said.

Defending reforms to the examinations system, Nick Gibb said that routine testing of pupils from the age of 11 onwards would lessen the toll on their mental health and help them prepare for their GCSE exams.

Giving evidence to the Commons education committee yesterday, he dismissed suggestions that exams were placing students under “constant, unending pressure”, adding that there were a “whole raft” of issues now affecting students’ mental wellbeing.