The government is spending more than £10 million to bring back its failed baseline assessment scheme. If it goes ahead, almost every four-year-old in England will be tested when they enter school.This is pointless and damaging.
Pointless because Baseline assessment means testing every child one-to-one for 20 minutes in their first few weeks at school and taking the result as a true picture of what they can do. It’s not going to give valid results.
Damaging because children will be labelled, and schools will teach to the test. Early years education will become narrower and more formal. This is not good for children. In a system based on testing many will lose out – especially children with special needs, those who are summer-born, or those who are brought up in disadvantage.
Deal with the real problems
Child poverty levels are rising. Funding for schools and nurseries is too low. The Pre-School Learning Alliance warns that ‘more and more nurseries, pre-schools and child-minders are going to be forced out of business’. A government that really wanted to improve the quality of education would opt for investment, not more testing.
The government plans to impose Baseline Assessment in 2020. Before then, there will be trials and pilots. MORE THAN A SCORE is an alliance of parents, teachers and other education experts. It aims to make sure that at every step of the way the Baseline plans will be scrutinised and criticised – and ultimately rejected.
Read the whole leaflet here.