Embargo 21 March 2014: Only 15 per cent of primary schools are planning to follow the Government’s directive to stop using current assessment ‘levels’ to report pupil attainment, according to new research from the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) published today.

The BESA survey ‘Assessment in Primary Schools’ highlights teachers’ views of the Government’s plans to remove primary assessment levels and looks at how schools plan to assess, monitor and track pupils in the future.

The survey of 900 UK primary schools, conducted in February 2014, attracted responses from 405 schools and revealed that 92 per cent of respondents felt that current levels are either definitely or to some degree, fit for purpose for use by teachers.  However more than a third agreed that levels were not fit for purpose for sharing or explaining pupil progress to parents, which chimes with a key concern voiced by Ministers that led to the decision to end levels announced by the DfE last year.

Caroline Wright, director, BESA said, “From today’s survey findings it would appear that many teachers fear that the Government is using a sledge-hammer to crack a nut by replacing a system, that they feel serves professionals well, in order to tackle the concerns over the way schools communicate pupil progress to parents.

“The startling reluctance of schools to replace levels would seem to indicate that schools are holding off from making any long-term decisions until the Government’s primary assessment consultation findings are published. We hope that this report will help provide the clarity and reassurance that schools need in order to move ahead and plan effectively for this September.”

85 per cent of surveyed schools also stressed the importance of using a system which would provide a comparison with other schools. Looking ahead, when schools were asked how they would demonstrate pupil achievement in the future after levels had been abolished 19 per cent said they were planning to introduce an entirely new system with 21 per cent expecting to purchase their solution from a commercial assessment provider.


About BESA

BESA, the British Educational Suppliers Association, is the trade association representing over 300 educational suppliers in the UK, including manufacturers and distributors of equipment, materials, books, consumables, furniture, technology, ICT hardware and digital-content related services to the education market.

With 79 years of experience, BESA offers unparalleled support, research, events and advice on both UK and International markets, and the future of the education supplies industry.  BESA is focused on promoting and providing support and advice to their members, the industry and to schools.

BESA has a Code of Practice to which all members must adhere, along with a stringent membership process, both of which assure buyers of a high standard of quality in both product and customer service.

For more information, please visit www.besa.org.uk.


For further press information contact:

Sue Murray

Mango Marketing

T: 01932 829 077

E: sue.murray@mangomarketing.com


For information from BESA contact:

Caroline Wright


T: 020 7537 4997

E: caroline@besa.org.uk