Letters extra: Solid foundation

23rd May 2003 at 01:00

Thank you for once again printing an interesting piece of news about the foundation stage profile. Having been embroiled in the original argument with Ted Wraggnbsp;via your letters page, I am aware of the feelings this issue provokes.

Inbsp;am angry about the hijacking of a sound educational idea. Since I first wrote to you on the subject, the Department for Education and Skillsnbsp;has moved the goalposts several times and the theory and practicenbsp;we were all so pleased with has been lost in the mire of spreadsheets and data and, God forbid, one summative number. We should have guessed

I found this recent article interesting as it perpetuates the idea that this "new" assessment process is a "waste of time". Interestingly,nbsp;nursery teachers who were questioned saidnbsp;so.nbsp; It isnbsp;an assessment which continues, and eventually sums up, the observational worknbsp;done throughout the foundation stage.

It is not "new". What is new is the attempt to manipulate this form of formative, useful assessment to produce one meaningless number at the end of Reception.

The profile was not introduced to replace baseline assessment, which did become a tool for value-added. Baseline assessment was seen to be unhelpful. We have been told categorically by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority that the profile will not be used for this. We can, of course, see what will happen though.

Staff in the early years have always profiled children to assess their needs, so this doesnbsp;this does not create extra work. The booklet produced by QCA is optional, providingnbsp;the profiling already in place is rigorous. The bureacratic part has been added on latterly, and we are still not exactly sure of the form it will take. Or why it is necessary.

Sue Allingham,

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