Test-heavy baseline assessments rejected by schools

The TES is reporting that schools have largely rejected moves to introduce “baseline” tests for four- and five-year-old children in their first few weeks of school…

The government revealed today that only three of the original six baseline assessment providers have signed up enough schools to continue. 

Two of these providers – Early Excellence and the National Foundation for Educational Research – use observations to assess children’s language, literacy and maths skills at age 4. The ICT-based test from the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University, also remains as an option.

But GL Assessment and Speech Link (which offered computer-based tests) and Hodder Education (which created a paper-based test) are no longer on the approved provider list.

Providers had to sign up at least 10 per cent of primary schools (about 1,700) in order to be approved. From September 2016, only baseline assessments from approved providers will count in progress measures.

Early Excellence, which offers an entirely observation-based assessment, is by far the most popular provider and has said that it has signed up more than 11,000 primaries...

More at: Test-heavy baseline assessments rejected by schools


The report also goes on to say that schools who had chosen one of the three suppliers not now on the list can still use these, but they will not be reimbursed for their costs or have their progress reported.

We have already had suggestions that the high take up of the Early Excellence scheme, which is completely dependent on teacher observation, may be at least in part behind the suggestion that national SATs may be reintroduced for seven year olds to provide an ‘objective’ measure. Do you think ministers might be regretting its inclusion in the scheme?


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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Are those schools who did the baseline tests “led” by ambitious people who have risen quickly through the pay grades?

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Congrats to those who didn’t sign up as it’s a rubbish, political idea; but must ensure their teacher assessments are true!

  3. colinsparkbridg

    SchoolsImprove Shouldn’t the government release the exact figures of those opting and not-opting for test-based assessments ?

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