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Baseline assessments abandoned

The government has today announced a U-turn on baseline assessments, stating that baseline testing will no longer be used to measure pupil progress in primary education. The announcement follows a reception baseline comparability study which reviewed the three different types of assessments. Pupils’ progress will now only be measured from age 7 to 11.

Liz Bayram, CEO, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years comments:

“We are delighted to learn that baseline assessments are no longer to be used in schools as a measure of pupil progress. PACEY has long supported the Better without Baseline campaign because we believe schools need a rounded assessment of the children entering their reception classes. There is strong evidence that a snap shot of a child’s development within six weeks of starting school provides limited information and can distract teachers from the important job of settling children into full time education.

"That said, the DfE does state it plans to consider 'options for improving assessment arrangements in reception.' PACEY's view remains that any form of assessment at this age is unnecessary. Testing in this way at such a key stage in their school career does nothing to support their early development and is instead about monitoring school performance.

"But this is a great first step. The early years sector and Better Without Baseline supporters should be proud of their achievements in campaigning tirelessly to reverse this ill-advised policy."