The Association of School and College Leaders’ primary accountability review was carried out with the help of a panel of primary and assessment experts.
It acknowledges that the government has made steps towards responding to some of the concerns about the distorting effects of high-stakes assessment on the primary curriculum and staff wellbeing – plans to introduce Year 7 resits were scrapped in 2016 and a consultation was held on further reforms.
“These changes, however, will have little impact on the most pernicious aspect of the current system: the way in which the results of statutory assessment are used,” the review states. It proposes that:
- The government should work with others to develop clear aims for primary education, and consider how performance can be judged against these aims.
- Ofsted should ensure that inspectors take into account the wider curriculum beyond English and maths.
- The key stage 2 writing assessment should be improved or scrapped completely;
- Schools should no longer be required to label children as having ‘met’ or ‘not met’ the expected standard in Sats reports sent home to parents.
- The government should rethink its policy on compulsory academisation in the absence of evidence that it helps to improve schools.
- Primary school performance tables should be based on results over three years, rather than on a single year’s assessment.
Panel members included: Professor Robert Coe, Dame Reena Keeble, Dame Alison Peacock, James Pembroke and Michael Tidd