Assessment and Accountability

30 Aug

It is ironic that while the government proposes reducing red tape in one part of its operations, it increases it in another, i.e. assessment and accountability.  On 17 July 2013, the Department for Education launched a consultation on its proposals to changes it wishes to make to primary assessment and accountability with the objective of ensuring that pupils are “secondary ready” and to raise standards.  It intends to set a new floor standard target from 2016 to ensure that at least 85% of pupils at primary level are ready for secondary school.  It is silent about what will happen to the remaining 15%.

As the DfE is abolishing national curriculum levels, the present requirement for 85% of pupils to attain level 4 in reading, writing and mathematics will no longer apply.  The Standards and Testing Agency is being charged to develop new national curriculum tests and a school will have to ensure that at least 85% of pupils meet the expected level of attainment in these tests.  The tests will also have a value-added progress measure.   This will mean that a school will have to meet the floor target for both, pupil attainment and progress.

Each 11-year-old (except those with profound special needs) will be compared to her/his peers nationally and placed in 10% bands (deciles). This will be reported to the parents of the child.

Responses to the consultation document, which can be accessed here, are invited by 11 October 2013.

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