Coronavirus: Baseline going ahead as planned, says DfE

Government says new baseline assessment will be introduced in September, but situation will be kept under review

Amy Gibbons

Teacher helping pupil at school

The government says it intends for the new baseline assessment to go ahead as planned in September, despite concern from campaigners that this would "make life impossible for everybody".

The Early Education charity has called for the introduction of the Reception baseline assessment (RBA) to be delayed "by at least a year", as learning has been "so disrupted" by school and nursery closures.

But the Department for Education (DfE) told Tes that the assessment is still due to go ahead in September, although this will be kept under review in light of the coronavirus crisis.

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The DfE said it is hoped that the RBA secondary legislation will be passed in the summer.

The department confirmed that it is working towards implementing the assessment in September 2020. However, it said that the timescale is subject to change in the coming months.

The DfE added that it would keep the situation under review.

Beatrice Merrick, chief executive of Early Education, told Tes that introducing the new baseline assessment in September would "make life impossible for everybody".

She said: "If government were to be thinking of still introducing baseline in September, I just think that would be really problematic because…children [need] an extended transition.

"So to take teachers’ attention away from that transition and to spend a week or two just sitting down testing individual children in a way that they can’t actually use to plan their teaching would be really counterproductive and unfair on those children."

Campaign group More Than A Score also called on the DfE to cancel the introduction of the baseline assessment "immediately".

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Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @tweetsbyames

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