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Assessment of Learning

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.

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 […]