Superhead Dame Alison Peacock snubs baseline tests for four-year-olds

The TES is reporting that Dame Alison Peacock, one of the government’s key advisers on primary education, has revealed that her school will refuse to carry out the controversial new baseline assessment.

Dame Alison, headteacher of the Wroxham School in Hertfordshire and a member of the Department for Education’s Commission for Assessment Without Levels, has chosen to join almost 3,000 heads who are believed to be continuing with their own internal assessments for four-year-olds in Reception, rather than adopting the new system.

Although the tests are not compulsory, the DfE has said that, from next year, they will be the only accepted way of measuring how children have progressed when they are in Year 6 – meaning schools will be under heavy pressure to sign up.

“We are not doing the baseline,” said Dame Alison, who has also advised ministers on teacher training and professional development. “We already have a very comprehensive way of assessing the children: we do it through observation and talking to the children. We also have a nursery and it seemed strange to have a formal assessment after working for a year with them…”

Read the full article in the 2 October edition of TES

More at: Superhead Dame Alison Peacock snubs baseline tests for four-year-olds


How do you feel about these comments and this decision from Dame Alison?

Will they put additional pressure on the government to look at baseline assessments again or is that unlikely?

Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link

Sir Anthony Seldon: Private schools give edge because of focus on 'soft' skills
Britain's youngest terrorist planned to behead his teachers, court hears
Categories: Policy and Primary.


  1. Patrice Baldwin

    The tests will probably not be just about assessing children but will be used also to judge and penalise schools in the name of ‘accountability’.   The education system is being rotted by the overemphasis on summative testing and too much time is spent on preparing for tests at the expense of teaching. The curriculum has become imbalanced, with too much content on the tested, core subjects. It is now test driven rather than learner focused in many schools. What gets tested gets the time, at the expense of a rounded education.

  2. Let’s hope more heads follow.  It appears 3,000 already have the courage to treat these tests with disdain knowing full well they have no educational value and will be used to judge schools.

  3. MCHughes14

    Well done – lets have more schools letting highly trained and experienced teachers use their professional judgement

  4. DiLeed

    .SchoolsImprove And AlisonMPeacock methodology enables holistic assessment of EAL 4 yo. Could even include L1 assessment U0001f631

  5. EvrydayLg

    DiLeed VG. But 1st read it as ‘assessment of EAL4, yo!’ -ie Philadelphia Eng for ‘Look! This methodology allows assessment of EAL4!’

  6. EvrydayLg

    DiLeed Twitter never is. Ilbury_LingRes is interested in that (studying relationship between orthography & phonology/phonetics on Twitter)

Let us know what you think...