ASCL responds to suspension of reception baseline assessment

25/06/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the decision to suspend the reception baseline assessment until September 2021
 
Commenting on the decision to suspend the reception baseline assessment until September 2021, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“We support the decision to suspend the reception baseline assessment for 12 months as a sensible and pragmatic response to the disruption caused by the coronavirus emergency. We understand that schools which wish to become early adopters of the assessment can still do so.
 
“This is not the time to introduce a new national assessment when teachers have to be able to focus on reintegrating children back into schools, and we are pleased this has been recognised by the government.
 
“However, the government must also undertake a review of Key Stage 2 tests due to be taken next May as a matter of urgency.
 
“There may be merit in allowing schools to run them for their own checks and to support children’s transition to secondary education.
 
“But it would be wrong to use them for school performance tables after so much disruption and as schools focus on helping children catch-up.
 
“In the longer term, we support the introduction of reception baseline assessment because it better recognises the vital importance of early years education than the current system which measures progress only from Key Stage 1 assessments when the child is already halfway through their primary education.
 
“But we still need to see Key Stage 2 tests reformed to make them fairer on children and fairer on schools.”