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Baseline testing for four-year-olds announced

The Government yesterday announced in a consultation response that it will be introducing baseline testing for children starting in Reception from 2016. It was also announced that the EYFS Profile will no longer be compulsory, also from 2016 onwards.

PACEY does not support baseline testing at the start of school, and we are concerned that the Government's announcements on this issue will not support children's early development. PACEY Chief Executive Liz Bayram said on this issue:

“PACEY remains firmly opposed to baseline testing for four-year-olds and is unconvinced that the Government’s approach will best support a child's early development. This change has more to do with monitoring school performance than supporting children to have a strong foundation for future learning.

"As our school readiness research has shown, preparing children for school involves much more than just early reading, writing and maths skills. We believe there should be equal consideration for children’s physical, social and emotional development as well as educational development, fostered through a play based approach to learning.

"The now discarded EYFS Profile helped ensure holistic child development was considered up to and including reception year and we can only hope that these factors will be taken into strong consideration as government finalises the assessment criteria.”

Liz's comments were published in a Nursery World article, as well as in The Telegraph.

Follow this link for the Government's full response to their consultation on primary school assessment and accountability, which contains these announcements. PACEY members can also access PACEY's response to the consultation, which was released in October 2013.

For a wider discussion of school readiness, please read our What does School Ready really mean? report, which was released in September 2013.