Campaigners ramp up pressure against the Baseline

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More than a Score launched the next stage of their campaign against the Reception Baseline at the Nursery World Show.


The coalition of education experts, parents, heads and teachers campaigning against standardised assessment in primary schools will be encouraging parents and teachers to lobby heads not to take part in the pilot of the Government scheme.

The Department for Education's decision to bring back a Reception Baseline has proved controversial with early years experts and teaching unions.

Schools in England will begin piloting the Reception Baseline in September, with children taking assessments in maths and literacy in the first few weeks of starting school.

Nancy Stewart from TACTYC, the Association for Professional Development in the Early Years, and a speaker at the Nursery World Show, said, ‘There is no evidence that these tests will have any predictive value, because such young children are themselves unreliable. They will give a different answer on a different day, when asked by a different person, or in a different context.

‘Like the SATs, the baseline test will bring extra workload for teachers, as well as stress for children right at the start of their school experience when settling in happily and confidently should have first priority. And they will bring pressure to focus relentlessly on narrow skills from the moment these very young children enter the school gates.’

Attendees can hear Nancy Stewart talking on ‘Baseline assessment: why it doesn’t add up’ at 1.15pm tomorrow, (Friday 1 February) in the Live Theatre. On Saturday (2 February), also at 1.15, Elaine Bennett from Keeping Early Years Unique will be speaking on ‘Baseline: the beginning of testing times’.

Attendees at the Nursery World Show can pick up a flyer from the More Than A Score stand outlining what action they can take to protest against Baseline Assessment.

They will also be encouraged to create their own chalk protests declaring ‘Play Not Tests at 4’, which they can share on social media.

  • The Nursery World Show takes place on 1 and 2 February at the Business Design Centre in London. Register for the show and book seminars and masterclasses here
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