The government recently announced its plans to introduce baseline assessments for reception year children in England this autumn, having been postponed last September due to the coronavirus pandemic. This would result in children joining school in September and being formally tested in literacy and numeracy within the first few weeks of term.
Campaigning group More than a Score commissioned a survey of parents and school leaders around the baseline assessments, the results of which were published today in the Guardian. 64 percent of school leaders surveyed oppose the plans to implement the reception baseline assessment (RBA) this year. 63 percent said that they feel the data from the RBA would not be a fair measure, due to the impacts of the pandemic causing different experiences for young children. Only 6 percent of parents surveyed feel that it is important to test reception aged children in maths and English in their first term at school.
PACEY has joined over 170 early years specialists and primary school headteachers in England to call for the cancellation of Baseline assessments in an open letter to the Department for Education. The letter, which you can read in full here calls for a focus on the emotional wellbeing instead of a formal assessment and the implementation of a ‘child-focused recovery plan for schools’.