* USING ASSESSMENT FOR SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT. By Mary James, Heinemann, pound;18.50.
Early on in this highly readable and practical book, James says that the chief purpose of assessment is to assist schools and teachers in helping students to learn; applied properly it is a fundamental aid to school improvement. Her intention is to blend educational debate on assessment with practical instruction. She displays an awareness of the tensions and difficulties that come to the surface when teachers discuss the hows and whys of assessment. It focuses on the learning gains and offers well reasoned and workable approaches to getting everyone signed up to a whole-school policy.
Janet Lewis Headteacher, Sandringham School, St Albans, Hertfordshire