ASCL comment on Reception baseline assessment

11 April 2018

Commenting on today’s government announcement about Reception baseline assessment in primary schools, Julie McCulloch, Interim Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“The most important measure of how well a school is doing for its children is the progress they make, but at the moment we only start measuring their progress from almost halfway through primary school when children take Key Stage 1 tests at the age of seven. We need a system which better reflects the entirety of their schooling and the vital work in the infant years, and we therefore support a light-touch assessment near the beginning of Reception which will provide an earlier starting point for measuring progress and give parents a more complete picture. It would also pave the way for the scrapping of Key Stage 1 tests, removing a significant pressure on schools and children.

“It is essential that any Reception assessment is thoroughly trialled before it is rolled out, to ensure it is as valid and reliable as possible, and does not put pressure on very young children. We will be encouraging our members to participate in the trials, to help shape the new assessment and ensure it is fit for purpose.”