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Assessment of Learning

No room for manoeuvre on ‘essential’ national tests

TESS – Standardised assessments must be brought in, despite teachers’ qualms, John Swinney tells EIS conference. The Scotsman – John Swinney tells teachers not to fear Scots test shake-up.

Absence and attainment at key stages 2 and 4: 2013 to 2014

GOV.UK – Attainment of pupils at the end of key stage 2 and key stage 4, for the academic year 2013 to 2014, by levels of absence.

Reception baseline comparability study published

GOV.UK – Reception baseline assessment will not be used as a starting point to measure pupil progress following a comparability study. GOV.UK – Reception baseline comparability study. BBC News Education – Baseline tests dropped as progress measure. TES News – Baseline assessments dropped as accountability measures in major DfE U-turn. TES News – Baseline U-turn: ‘superhead’ Alison Peacock describes her […]

‘Excessive’ focus on results is turning schools into ‘exam factories’, union leader says

TES News – Too much testing is “bad for pupils” and “bad for teachers” says NUT general secretary.  The National Union of Teachers’ outgoing leader has condemned the government for “turning our schools at all levels into exam factories.”

Why teachers are seeing red (and green and purple and pink) over marking

The Guardian – Assessment systems requiring different-coloured pens and rubber stamps are the biggest cause of stress for teachers, according to a union survey.

Reducing teacher workload: Marking Policy Review Group report

GOV.UK – Report about eliminating unnecessary workload for teachers regarding marking, including principles and recommendations. GOV.UK – Letters from the teacher workload review groups and Nicky Morgan.

Teacher workload: Marking Policy Review Group

GOV.UK – The group will consider effective practice on marking in schools which raises standards for pupils without creating unnecessary workload.

Superhead Dame Alison Peacock snubs baseline tests for four-year-olds

TES News – One of the government’s key advisers on primary education and most feted headteachers, Dame Alison Peacock, has revealed that her school will refuse to carry out the controversial new baseline assessment.

Could new testing in Scotland’s schools lead to a teacher boycott?

BBC News Scotland – Scotland’s largest teachers’ union, the EIS, has warned that Scottish government plans for new assessments in schools are a “damaging, retrograde step”. So, could the disagreement lead to a boycott of the tests by teachers?

Are school league tables on the way in Scotland?

TES News – Scottish government plans to collect national data on the percentage of children reaching expected levels in reading, writing and numeracy brings the possibility of school league tables much closer, it has been warned.

Talking standards: part 10 of a conversation between educationalists Sir Tim Brighouse and David Cameron

TES – In the 10th part of our ongoing online conversation, Scottish educationalist David Cameron (left) sets out his own version of what constitutes ‘British values’ in response to former schools commissioner for London Sir Tim Brighouse.

Schools don’t seem able to give up levels, leaked report finds

TES News – Schools are recreating the old system of assessing pupils by national curriculum levels, a leaked draft of a government-commissioned report on assessment has found. Guardian Education – Leaked ‘levels’ report reveals testing concerns. See also – Commission on Assessment Without Levels – July 2015 update.

Commission on Assessment Without Levels – July 2015 update

GOV.UK – Commission on Assessment Without Levels: The commission has completed its final report and the government is considering its official response. We’ll publish both the report and the government response when schools return from the summer break in September 2015. See also – Schools don’t seem able to give up levels, leaked report finds.

Special needs expert to head new assessment review

GOV.UK – The executive headteacher of a leading special needs school will oversee a new review into how to assess accurately pupils with lower attainment, Schools Minister Nick Gibb announced today (13 July 2015). TES News – New review of assessment for low-attaining pupils set up.

Ofsted fears baseline assessments for four-year-olds will hurt the most disadvantaged

TES News – A new Ofsted report has cast fresh doubts on the wisdom of the government’s controversial new “baseline” assessments for four-year-olds. GOV.UK – The report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills 2015: Early years.