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Labour repeats pledge to drop baseline test

By Rachel Lawler
 
Jeremy Corbyn childcare pledge
Jeremy Corbyn has reiterated Labour's pledge to scrap the baseline assessment for reception classes if elected.
 
Speaking at the National Education Union (NEU) conference, he said: “We’ll scrap the government’s planned new baseline assessments for reception classes because they can’t give accurate comparisons between schools when pupils have such different backgrounds.”
 
Baseline tests
Currently, the Department for Education (DfE) plans to replace Key Stage 1 SATs with a baseline assessment taken in the first term of reception year. The tests will be used to measure the children’s progress while at primary school.
 
The Labour leader also pledged to drop SATs in favour of a “more flexible and practical system of assessment”, reflecting the party's position as previously outlined in its 2017 manifesto.
 
The NEU is due to ballot its members on a potential boycott of the SATs next year after conference delegates voted in favour of the poll.
 
"Free childcare"
Corbyn also used the speech to reiterate Labour’s plans to offer 30 hours of “free early years provision” for all two-, three- and four-year-olds in England.
 
He said: “Children who get a good start in life at pre-school do so much better in schools and beyond. I want all children in every part of the country to get that good start.”
 
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