Assessment Reform - where are we now?

Rebecca Hanson's picture
With reforms to assessment at ages 4/5, 6/7, 10/11, 15/16 and 17/18 pending, it's hard to know what's going on.

So with the help of many kind people I've spent the summer compiling a short report which summarises what's happening, what the key concerns are and what the key calls for modifications are likely to be in the hope of facilitating constructive discussion.

You can download it as a .pdf or as a .docx here:

Your comments and questions are welcome here and I'll try to come back to answer them when I get the chance.
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jennyquestions's picture
Mon, 01/09/2014 - 21:50

Thanks Rebecca. I will share this with my colleagues. It's important that as teachers we maintain a critical perspective on all the initiatives and shifts of focus relentlessly forced upon the profession.

Alan Bowles's picture
Tue, 02/09/2014 - 09:32

Thank you for your short paper.I have doubts about the 'Why' of baseline checks.
It seems to me unlikely that baseline checks will help schools significantly to argue the case for progression rather than achievement as the ' success' criterion. Currently if s schools fails the achievement hurdle at Ks2( which you comment is being made harder) they are unlikely to pass the progress target which has been set very high by using the median of results rather than the average. There appears to be no real intention that progress is considered an alternative to achievement. Of course the need to argue progress particularly applies to schools in deprived areas in contrast to those in the least deprived. Not only is the starting point lower but on average the home support is lower.
What the new baseline assessment will provide is a realistic assessment for schools to judge their KS1 phase or their infant school. Schools will be able to argue that progress has been made between the start and finish of KS1. In that sense it will be a useful addition to the judgement process

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Tue, 02/09/2014 - 12:30

Web technology and computer adaptive testing are making it possible for schools to gather really detailed information about progress. But it's necessary to build the system of measurement from what it meaningful and possible rather than to come up with an idea and stick with it despite all concerns - which is what's been happening.

I suspect the problem is that Gove and co set up this reform and now there's nobody with good oversight of it who's able to modify it. I hope the report will help people rapidly upskill so that they can get to grips with either properly managing and adapting the initiative or campaigning for that to happen depending on their position.

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