Testing of under-fives goes ahead despite teaching union objections

Feb 27, 2019 by

Department for Education launches ‘reception baseline assessment’ pilot scheme

The Department for Education is to press ahead with its latest attempt to assess the abilities of four- and five-year-old children in their first weeks of full-time schooling, despite strong opposition from teaching unions.

The DfE is calling for primary schools in England to volunteer for its new reception baseline assessment as part of a pilot before the new measure is introduced from autumn 2020.

The new assessments will be designed to gauge the levels of ability that children exhibit in language, communication, basic literacy and maths at the start of their reception year, when most children begin formal schooling aged four.

The pilot is part of an overhaul of state school accountability in England in order to chart the progress of pupils from entry until key stage two tests at the end of primary school, with key stage one tests previously taken at age seven being scrapped in preparation.

“The reception baseline assessment is a hugely important step forward in ensuring that we can fairly and accurately measure how effectively schools are helping children to progress while helping to reduce the burden of assessment for teachers,” said Nick Gibb, the schools minister, in announcing the opening of applications to take part in the pilot.

Source: Testing of under-fives goes ahead despite teaching union objections | Education | The Guardian

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