Justine Greening’s ministerial statement on 19 October 2016 gave an indication of what the DfE’s intentions will be this year when it comes to assessment. She recognises that the pace and scale of change has been ‘stretching’ and that results last year will not be comparable with previous years’ results. Once more we are told in the statement that ‘no more than 6% of primary schools will be below the floor standards in 2016’. We’re further informed that there will be no new national tests or assessments introduced before the 2018/19 academic year. This, in effect, leaves us with almost two years in which to consolidate and build upon this year’s practices.
However, we can expect some changes. Justine Greening commits to the simplification of assessment arrangements, including:
- improvement in the guidance for the moderation of teacher assessment
- mandatory training for LA moderators
- maintaining the Key Stage 1 grammar, punctuation and spelling test as non-statutory in 2016/2017.
And at the beginning of Year 7:
- no statutory maths and reading re-sits for children
- high-quality re-sit papers will be made available for teachers to use if they wish
- introduction of a targeted package of support for struggling pupils
- a consultation on primary assessment and the implications for accountability will be launched early in 2017. This will include questions on:
- the best starting point to measure the progress children make in primary school – this followson from the removal of the baseline assessment in reception
- the role and operation of teacher assessment.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile will remain in place for the 2017/18 academic year. It is to be hoped that the intentions Ms Greening has indicated will allow schools to review their practice and consolidate and improve upon last year’s experiences.