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Assessment of Learning

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.

Talking Standards: a conversation between educationalists Sir Tim Brighouse and David Cameron

TES – In the fifth installment of our online conversation, Scottish educationalist David Cameron discusses the use of data from exam results in response to the former schools commissioner for London Sir Tim Brighouse.

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.

Test-heavy baseline assessments rejected by schools

TES News – Teachers have largely rejected moves to introduce “baseline” tests for four- and five-year-old children in their first few weeks of school. See also: Reception baseline assessment: guide to signing up your school (updated 1 July 2015) Baseline assessment guidance

Scottish councils spending more than £1m a year testing primary and early-secondary pupils

TES News – A TESS survey of Scotland’s 32 local authorities has found that standardised testing cost the councils at least £1,052,782 in the past year. The true cost to the Scottish purse is likely to be considerably higher, however, with four councils failing to respond.

Scotland to remain free of national primary testing

TES News – Fears that national testing might be reintroduced to Scottish primary schools have been allayed.

Headteachers express ‘deep concern’ over primary school baseline tests

Guardian Education – Headteachers are being urged to reject controversial new tests for four and five-year-olds in their first weeks at school, amid concerns they will be both statistically invalid and harmful to children’s wellbeing.

‘Outsource marking’ to cut teachers’ workload

BBC News Education – Teachers could reduce their workload by outsourcing the marking of pupils’ school work to staff overseas, suggests a leading education researcher.

Independent Review of Curriculum and Assessment Arrangements in Wales

Welsh Government – Professor Donaldson has identified very real strengths in Wales, including the Foundation Phase and the commitment to the Welsh language and culture on which we can build. His report also identifies the shortcomings of the current curriculum arrangements and has made a series of recommendations to address these and improve how children in […]

Members of new commission on assessment without levels announced

GOV.UK – DfE has established the members of the commission on assessment without levels that will support schools following the removal of levels. TES News – ‘Teacher-led commission’ on levels will contain no classroom teachers. TES News – The ‘teacher-led’ commission with no front-line staff.

Baseline assessment guidance

Early Education – Early Education and TACTYC have reviewed the six baseline schemes accredited by the Department for Education, and our considered recommendation remains that schools should not introduce a baseline scheme at all … Nevertheless, we recognise that many headteachers feel under pressure to introduce a scheme, and we have therefore reviewed all six schemes strengths and weaknesses […]

Assessment without levels commission announced

GOV.UK – Nick Gibb sets out plans for a commission to help improve primary school assessment and testing. GOV.UK – Nick Gibb outlines the support given to schools as they move away from level descriptors.

Scrap Baseline Assessment in Reception classes

Change.0rg – Early Education online petition to scrap Baseline Assessment, to be delivered to the Secretary of State for Education. The Independent – Baseline tests for new primary school students ‘dragoons children,’ say campaigners calling for them to be scrapped.