BESA has responded to the Government’s Secondary School Accountability consultation by providing a warning of the plans to introduce a new set of tests, independent of qualifications and school accountability. BESA has stressed that tracking national standards over time will impose another costly and bureaucratic system on top of the existing testing infrastructure.
BESA recommends that the money that would be invested in these new testing proposals is used to reform and improve existing testing and accountability measures currently operating in schools. It suggests that the money should be invested at school level in learning and teaching resources in subjects and areas where the Government is most concerned about pupil achievement and standards.
With reference to the Government’s Pupil Premium, established to provide additional support for children from low income families, BESA raised its concern about the proposed performance measures only being carried out at Key Stage 4 (KS4) (upper secondary school age). Justifying its comment, BESA stated that evidence shows that the most disadvantaged children are at risk of falling behind wealthier children of a similar ability from as early as 5-years-old. Therefore, assessment at KS4 will fail to measure the impact of Pupil Premium during the crucial primary school phase.
Caroline Wright, director, BESA adds, “We value the Government’s invitation to the education sector to offer a response to its draft plans. As the sector’s trade association we represent some 300 companies’ views in our response. The proposed introduction of a new set of tests appears to acknowledge that the Government is not confident in the standards and qualifications incorporated in the current headline measures. We recommend that the Government addresses these concerns to ensure that data from the current national qualifications and tests provides reliable results, rather than imposing another costly and bureaucratic system on top of the existing testing infrastructure.”
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.
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