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ATL comment on possible scrapping of baseline assessment

ATL | Association of Teachers and Lecturers

1 min read Partner content

Commenting on a Schools Week story that the Government may scrap baseline assessment for reception children, Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said:

“We hope the Department for Education sees sense and scraps baseline assessment for four-year-olds, and instead keeps the early years foundation stage profile which is a far more sophisticated assessment of how children develop and enables teachers to get to know the children they teach.

“The Government also needs to put into action its promises to trust teachers and let them use their professional judgment to assess four-year-olds.

“Primary school teachers and heads have had significant concerns about baseline assessment for four-year-olds since its inception. Even the Government’s consultation back in 2014 showed that only 34% of education experts thought baseline assessment was a good idea.

“The research ATL and the NUT commissioned from UCL found that teachers and school leaders had no confidence in baseline assessment as either a way to assess children or as a school accountability measure. Sixty per cent of teachers did not think it accurately reflects children’s attainment and only 8% think it is a fair and accurate way to assess children.

“We urge the Government to think very carefully before replacing baseline assessment with a “school readiness check” and to continue to listen to teachers as it develops its assessment policy.”