Alliance criticises government decision to push ahead with reception baseline testing   

Commenting on the continued roll-out of baseline assessment, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said: 

“It’s incredibly disappointing, though unfortunately not surprising, that the government has chosen to push ahead with the roll-out of baseline testing despite widespread concerns from educators, parents and the wider early years and primary sectors.

“Rather than looking to assess children across a broad range of areas of learning and development, these reductive, inconsistent and often-unreliable tests instead take a narrow focus on easy-to-measure skills such as numeracy and literacy. 

"As government has itself admitted, this policy is all about assessing the effectiveness of schools, rather than supporting children’s early learning and development. As a result, we have a system about to be introduced which is liable to place undue pressure on young children at the very start of their educational journeys, without any real benefit to them at all. 

"We urge the government to rethink the introduction of these tests, and will continue to oppose this policy in partnership with our sector and union colleagues."





  • The Early Years Alliance (formerly the Pre-school Learning Alliance) is the largest and most representative early years membership organisation in England. A registered educational charity, it also provides high-quality affordable childcare and education to support children and families in areas of deprivation throughout the country. 
  • The Alliance represents 14,000 member settings and supports them to deliver care and learning to more than 800,000 families every year. We deliver family learning projects, offer information and advice, produce specialist publications, run acclaimed training programmes and campaign to influence early years policy and practice.
  • The Alliance website is