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Petition against 4-year-old testing

In March 2014, the Government announced that it will be introducing baseline testing for children starting in Reception from 2016.

PACEY opposes baseline testing at the start of school, and have been supporting the campaign against this.

We have now signed the petition to scrap baseline assessment in Reception classes, and to keep the EYFS Profile as the measure of children’s progress at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

PACEY Chief Executive Liz Bayram said on this issue:

“PACEY remains firmly opposed to baseline testing for 4-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.

"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.”

The petition calls on the government to reverse its decision swiftly to avoid time and money being spent on a process that previous experience has shown to be an ill-advised approach to assessment in the early years.

We agree with early years experts that the current proposals for baseline tests:

  • Will not produce valid or reliable data
  • Will hinder children’s transitions to primary education
  • Damage the relationship between the school and the parents
  • Stigmatise those children who perform less well on assessment

We want to see the retention of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile and believe that this will:

  • Provide a balanced, age-appropriate and holistic measure of progress
  • Provide a crucial source of longitudinal national data on this age group

What do you think? If you would like to find out more about the petition, keep up to date on the campaign and sign the petition, you can do so here.