Primary Assessment: Committee publishes written evidence

18 November 2016

The Education Committee has published the written evidence received as part of its current inquiry into primary assessment. The Committee has received 380 submissions, the majority of which are from schools and teachers, as well as from parents and interested organisations.

The written evidence includes submissions from the following:

  • NAHT
  • NUT
  • ASCL
  • Education Datalab
  • National Association for Primary Education
  • British Educational Research Association
  • National Foundation for Educational Research
  • Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education
  • National Literacy Trust
  • Association for Science Education

Chair's comment

Neil Carmichael, Chair of the Education Committee, said:

"As a Committee, we are grateful for teachers, schools, parents and interested organisations taking the time to submit evidence to our primary assessment inquiry. Primary assessment has seen major reform in recent times and as a Committee we want to examine the impact of SATs as well as broader issues of how primary assessment is helping to prepare children for secondary school and assist them in reaching their potential. We look forward to hearing from a range of witnesses, including from the teaching profession, when we hold our first evidence session in December".

Scope of the inquiry

This inquiry scrutinises reforms to primary assessment and their impact on teaching and learning in primary schools. It also covers the wider effects of assessment on primary pupils and schools, as well as possible next steps for Government policy.

The inquiry looks at debates over the benefits and drawbacks of testing at primary school. The Committee is also likely to examine issues such as whether SATs focus too heavily on English and Maths, leading to schools neglecting other areas of the curriculum like science and modern languages. Questions over the implementation of the new assessment system also feature in this inquiry.

National curriculum assessments (better known as SATs) have been subject to several changes since they were introduced in 1991. This year, new tests were introduced in key stage 1 and 2 to reflect the more rigorous national curriculum, first taught in September 2014. The reforms include new content and the removal of national curriculum levels. 

Primary assessment inquiry: terms of reference

In this inquiry, the Committee set out to explore:

  • The purpose of primary assessment and how well the current system meets this
  • The advantages and disadvantages of assessing pupils at primary school
  • How the most recent reforms have affected teaching and learning
  • Logistics and delivery of the SATs
  • Training and support needed for teachers and senior leaders to design and implement effective assessment systems
  • Next steps following the most recent reforms to primary assessment

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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