Tes is reporting that twelve organisations opted not to bid for the £9.8 million baseline contract after learning more about it, it has been revealed.
The controversial assessment for four- and five-year-olds is being developed by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NfER). It is aimed at providing a starting point against which to measure pupils’ progress between Reception and Year 6.
In response to a Tes freedom of information request, the Department for Education said that on 11 December 2017 – shortly after the publication of an invitation to tender for the contract – it held a supplier briefing, which was attended by 13 organisations.
But in the contract award published last week, it was confirmed that just one tender for the contract was received.
Early Excellence, one of the three organisations that had provided baseline assessments in 2015-16, decided before last December’s supplier briefing that it was not going to bid for the contract, which it said was “unworkable” because it ruled out observational approaches.
The National Foundation for Educational Research, which won the new contract, has published a summary of its proposals for the baseline, and how it will refine the assessments over the next two years.
It is developing a 20-minute task-based assessment in which children answer questions asked by their teacher during a one-to-one session, with the teacher recording the child’s response on a computer.
The current plans are due to be piloted in 2019 and rolled out in 2020. The assessment will cover literacy, numeracy and possibly self-regulation, the ability to manage emotions and behaviour.
Read more 12 organisations shunned baseline bid
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