Baseline tests will have ‘dubious validity’

Sue Learner
Thursday, August 16, 2018

The government’s proposal to use a baseline assessment test on children in their first term at school has been criticised as ‘flawed, unjustified and wholly unfit for purpose’.

PPS

The government’s proposal to use a baseline assessment test on children in their first term at school has been criticised as ‘flawed, unjustified and wholly unfit for purpose’.

The authors of a report by the British Educational Research Association (BERA) claim the test for four and five-year-olds would be ‘detrimental to children, parents, teachers, and the wider education system in England’.

The Department for Education recently published guidance for schools for the new test, which says teachers and parents will not have to prepare children and ‘in most cases pupils should not be aware that they are being assessed’.

The tests which will be introduced throughout England in September 2020 are designed to give ‘a snapshot of where pupils are when they arrive at school, establishing a new starting point to measure the progress that they make by the end of year 6’.

However the authors of the BERA report warn the results from the proposed assessment will have ‘dubious validity’ and say ‘children will be exposed to tests that will offer no formative help in establishing their needs and/or in developing teaching strategies capable of meeting them’.

They also called it an ‘untried experiment that cannot be properly evaluated until at least 2027, when the first cohort tested at reception has taken key stage 2 tests’.

In addition the report highlights the inaccuracy and unfairness of the tests as developmental differences can be very pronounced between winter born and summer born children and it seems the tests will not take this into account.

Access the BERA Report at: https://bit.ly/2lUhCio

Keep up to date with Early Years!

Sign up for our newsletter and keep up to date with Early Years education, process and events! We promise we won't spam you!