Nearly half of both primary and secondary schools have delayed making changes to their assessment arrangements despite the Government’s demand for schools to have their own system in place by September 2015.
As part of the Government’s reforms to the national curriculum, the system of ‘levels’ used to report children’s attainment and progress was removed in September 2014. This heralded a call for schools to create their own system to ‘allow teachers greater flexibility in the way that they plan and assess pupils’ learning,’ making it clearer for parents to understand their child’s development.
The survey of 728 schools (402 primary and 326 secondary) revealed that 44 per cent of primary schools and 54 per cent of secondary school are still to implement assessment changes in their schools.
As we move towards the end of the academic year, only 7 per cent of schools already have a new assessment system in place.
Caroline Wright, director of the British Educational Suppliers Association said, “We hope that now the general election is over and Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is back in post at the Department for Education, schools will have the confidence to make longer term decisions on their future assessment systems. However, we recognise that some schools are also waiting for the outcome of the Government’s Assessment Commission’s, which is due to report later this term. The research also revealed that schools’ growing independence is resulting in them moving away from local authority support and, in general, using between two or three sources of advice.
The most popular source of advice for 70 per cent of schools is their peers, reinforcing the collaborative links that many schools are starting to put into place. Publishers and assessment providers make the second most popular source of advice for 63 per cent of schools, leaving local authorities the first port of call for just 45 per cent. In secondary schools the balance is similar with the majority (57 per cent) seeking advice from other schools, 50 per cent turning to publishers and assessment providers and, more startlingly, only 20 per cent gathering advice from their local authority.
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