Change to the Government’s education policy has led to schools placing an increasing importance on assessment, recent research findings reveal.

The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) survey into ‘Strategic and Curriculum Change (June 2013)’ shows that both formative and summative assessment are becoming increasingly important to schools. 72 per cent of primary schools are planning to place more emphasis on formative assessment, and 64 per cent are expecting to place a higher importance on summative assessment.

This research, carried out in conjunction with the National Education Research Panel (NERP), gathered data from 565 English maintained schools (312 Primary and 253 secondary). The findings indicate that the shift to formative assessment is more marked in secondary schools, with 73 per cent expecting to place more importance than previously on formative assessment and 48 per cent expecting to place a higher importance on summative assessment.

A specific area of interest of the research was how the changes to national testing reporting and accountability may impact resourcing in the future.

In primary schools, 76 per cent of those surveyed predict an increase in procurement of print and digital resources to support assessment, 63 per cent confirmed they would spend more on teaching aids and equipment and 74 per cent are looking to invest more in continuing professional development (CPD) and training.

In secondary education, the predicted increase in investment due to assessment change was less, with 52 per cent indicating more or significantly more purchasing of print and digital resources, 48 percent stating a greater expenditure of teaching aids and equipment and 60 percent looking to invest more in CPD and training.

Caroline Wright, BESA director, said: “It is positive news for the industry that schools anticipate significant investment to support the forthcoming changes to education policy. BESA is working with Government to ensure that our members provide high quality resources and services to support schools and their pupils through this period of curriculum and strategy change.””


Definition by Department for Education

Formative Assessment – Assessment for learning takes place during learning, working with the pupil to determine what is being learned and identifying what the ‘next steps’ should be. It is based on day to day classroom practice, where both teachers and pupils use feedback to improve the learning.

Summative assessment – Assessment of learning takes place after the learning and tells us where pupils have been at given points in time and what has been achieved. It is used mainly to measure performance rather than support learning.


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 78 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