Thousands of primaries opt for test-free baseline assessments

22nd May 2015 at 10:36
picture of primary pupils

Thousands of primary schools have opted to assess four-year-olds purely on the basis of teacher observations rather than through tests, it has emerged.

In a move that appears to show the strength of feeling against testing in the early years, the majority of primaries have opted for the only version of the new baseline assessment that does not use computers or paper-based testing, TES has learned.

Six versions of the test have been approved for use, but only the one produced by Early Excellence is based entirely on teacher observations of children’s abilities. 

Jan Dubiel, national development manager of Early Excellence, said that out of about 17,000 primaries in England, more than 11,000 had signed up for the organisation’s version so far.

The news could signal the withdrawal of some of the other five suppliers providing alternative versions of the assessment. The Department for Education has said that any provider that had not signed up 10 per cent of schools by the end of April would have to withdraw, and any schools that had signed up with that provider would be asked to find a new supplier.

To read the full story, get the 22 May edition of TES on your tablet or phone, or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents. 

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