What next after the end of Baseline assessment?

The government’s admission that Baseline assessment cannot be used to fairly measure pupil progress has caused exasperation and anger – and suspicions remain over what will happen next. Pete Henshaw reports

Question marks continue to hang over just how the government intends to move forward with its ambition of measuring the progress of pupils from Reception onwards.

Last month, the Department for Education (DfE) admitted that going ahead with plans to assess Reception pupils under the Baseline assessment policy would be “inappropriate and unfair”.

The introduction of Baseline assessment was announced in March 2014 and began last year in many schools, with three assessment products being approved by the DfE (from Early Excellence, Durham University’s Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring, and the National Foundation for Educational Research).

However, last month ministers released the findings of a study of the three Baseline products, which revealed that they are “not sufficiently comparable”. It means they cannot provide a measure of progress that can be compared between schools because they cannot be used “to create a fair starting point from which to measure pupils’ progress”.

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