New teacher-led commission on primary assessment launched

The BBC is reporting that a teacher-led commission is being set up to help primary schools in England find new ways of assessing their pupils’ progress…

The previous system of levels, where pupils’ progress was assessed against standards set by the national curriculum, has been scrapped.

Ministers argued this system was too “vague” and “misleading”.

National tests for seven- and 11-year-olds based on the new national curriculum are also being drawn up.

The Commission on Assessment Without Levels will be led by former head teacher of the London Oratory School John McIntosh, who was also a member of the government’s advisory committee on its review of the national curriculum…

School Reform Minister Nick Gibb said: “Ensuring pupil assessment provides an accurate picture of a pupil’s attainment and progress without placing a bureaucratic burden on teachers is a key part of the government’s plan for education.

“Levels have been a distracting, over-generalised label, giving misleading signals about the genuine attainment of pupils.

“Crucially they failed to give parents clarity over how their children were performing and also resulted in a lack of trust between primary and secondary schools – clogging up the education system with undependable data on pupil attainment.

“The commission announced today will help schools develop their own, more accurate assessment systems that truly show how a child is performing in the classroom.”

He said levels had only ever been intended to be used to sum up a pupil’s attainment and progress at the end of key stages, but many schools had used them as part of ongoing assessments…

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: “Schools have been asking for support since the government first announced that levels would be removed. So while this may be useful, we could have done with it 18 months ago…

More at: New commission on primary assessment


See also from the DfE: Assessment without levels commission announced


Your thoughts on this new commission to work out how to replace levels? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Primary.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove I fear the teacher-led commission will produce its findings only to be completely ignored by those in place at DfE by then

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Let’s be honest, almost everyone still using levels (or similar by another name) with lack of any alternative from DfE

  3. pompeyanne

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove the old system worked, it certainly wasn’t vague or misleading. With APp it was very specific &directed

  4. pompeyanne

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove the only thing that confused parents is the numbers went up but the letters went backwards eg 4a, 5c, 5b

  5. andylutwyche

    pompeyanne SchoolsImprove Quite – nothing’s ever going to be ideal or liked by everyone. At least much of the population understood levels

  6. pompeyanne

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove we all know that if we develop our ‘own’ assessments ofsted will criticise and we will have 2 use the LEA ones

  7. pompeyanne

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Yep do you think it’s just a way of trying to make teachers like them just before an election.

  8. Janet2

    The DfE announced this in June 2013.  The announcement has now been archived:

    Now, 18 months later,  Gibb announces the setting up of a commission to decide level replacements.  Will this commission ever actually start work?  Of will it disappear after the election whoever wins?  Is this empty announcement just to show our Minister for School Reform is actually doing something?

  9. Janet2

    If Gibb thinks levels are ‘undependable data on pupil attainment., why are ministers so keen to slate schools and LAs where a certain proportion don’t meet the mandatory target?  Why the irresistible urge to force these schools to become academies?

  10. Dianne_Khan

    Bedtonman TeacherROAR colinsparkbridg Same as our new EDUCANZ, all members appointed by education minister. #Lackeys #GERM #control

  11. kitandrew1

    MichaelT1979 educationbear SchoolsImprove he’s very capable, however, there are so many brilliant primary HTs that could have done it .

  12. educationbear

    MichaelT1979 kitandrew1 SchoolsImprove Will be interesting to see how they balance the commission in terms of current practitioners

  13. ApexEducate

    SchoolsImprove I hope a range of teachers from different sectors are on the review team.Effective assessment is paramount to pupil success

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