Firm which delivers baseline assessments says feedback has been “overwhelmingly positive”

The Yorkshire Post is reporting that a local company which delivered  baseline assessment tests of half-a-million primary pupils nationally has produced a report saying it got positive feedback from the vast majority of schools involved.

Early Excellence was one of three providers chosen by the Government to pilot a new test or assessment of children in their first year of education in 2015/16.

The small firm, based near Huddersfield, developed a system which meant schools did not have to sit a formal test or take pupils or teachers out of lessons. And in a new report it says this was a key reason why it was chosen by so many schools. Last September more than two-thirds of schools nationally – 12,557, opted for the Early Excellence system…

Early Excellence’s founder Liz Marsden said: “We agree with those who say that formal testing is not the right approach for children when they start school. There are no tests involved in the Early Excellence approach to baseline assessment. 

“We believe that is why more than 70 per cent of schools have chosen to use our model.”

She said feedback from 30,000 people across 12,000 schools had been overwhelmingly positive. “Our model is focussed on settling children in and getting to know them through observations and interactions of self-initiated play and small group activities. Teachers make observations and use this information to plan next steps in children’s learning and to track the progress of children. This approach is already good practice in most schools.”

A new report by Early Excellence, which is being sent to schools tomorrow, says “the lack of a test or pre set tasks” and the fact that children and teachers were not required to leave the classroom were among key reasons for schools choosing the Early Excellence system. The report says almost all of schools had rated the company’s training, support materials and assessment process as good or excellent…

More at: Firm which delivers baseline assessment of primary pupils says feedback from schools has been “overwhelmingly positive”


The Early Excellence option has clearly become the dominant choice amongst schools taking part in baseline assessment so far, presumably because it is least like a formal test, but would you go along with the positive feedback coming from the company here>

And do you ever wonder if the DfE might regret having chosen it as one of the available options?

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  1. The Early Years Foundation Stage profile is already embedded.  It’s also superior to the Base Line tests which have no value apart from establishing a base from which to judge ‘progress’ (always assumed to be ever upwards) and thereby judge schools.   Given the chaos surrounding Key Stage 2 assessments this year, I’ve no faith in base line tests.
    The claimed overwhelming support could be caused by teachers thinking this is the best of a bad policy – the Govt is going to impose it, so we may as well support the one doing the least harm.

  2. clivetaylor915

    This thing about “we had positive feedback”. Have you ever heard anyone say, “we bombed”, or “we got it wrong”?

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