Back to Listings

Reception baseline assessments to be abandoned

The DfE has today revealed that reception baseline assessments will not be used to measure pupils’ progress, after a study found that the three different assessments were not comparable.
The study – from the DfE and the Standards and Testing Agency – examined the three schemes used by schools in the 2015 to 2016 academic year and found that they were not sufficiently comparable to be able to create a fair starting point for young children.
The decision means that pupils’ progress will now only be measured from age seven to 11.
“We warmly welcome the news that schools will no longer be pressured into using baseline assessments at the start of reception,” said Neil Leitch, chief executive at the Pre-school Learning Alliance.
“We have long warned that, not only would these tests place unnecessary pressure on children at the start of their schooling experience and risk wrongly labelling them as failing, they are also an incredibly unreliable and restrictive method of assessment.”
Schools will still have the option to use the baseline assessments in the 2016 to 2017 academic year, but the outcomes of these will not be used for accountability.
“While it’s disappointing that mass cross-sector opposition to this proposal was not enough to prompt this decision earlier, we are nevertheless incredibly pleased that the government has seen sense, and abandoned these flawed plans,” Neil added.