Pupils as young as five could sit academic exams under new plans.
Children at the very start of their formal schooling could have tests to help teaching staff identify the brightest pupils.
The most able pupils will then be earmarked for extra help further down their education career and as they prepare for university.
Pupils could also be put in for advanced tests in English, maths and science at 11, to enable those in the top and bottom 10 per cent to be identified.
Ofsted's chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said recently that it was 'shocking' that many teachers had no idea who their cleverest children were.
He cited a culture of low expectation which left academically able children failing to gain top grades at GCSE.
Sir Michael suggested that children should be streamed at 11 in core subjects like maths and English, and that parents should be given annual reports on whether their children were achieving as much as they should be.
Currently, children are tested in English and maths in SATs at the end of primary school, although it was announced earlier this year, that new tests are to be introduced.
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