Editor’s view - Testing times

Monday, January 23, 2017

Baseline assessment in school Reception classes seems to be a bit like a jack-in-a-box that keeps popping up every time the troublesome creature is pushed back down.

Just when everyone had drawn breath after the introduction and abandonment of the Baseline over 2015-16, with the prospect of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile remaining statutory for 2017-18, along comes a report from the NAHT review group to recommend an alternative model (see our online story).

Many of its proposals seem to be a great improvement on the previous scheme – it should take place later in the autumn term; it should be observation-based; it should cover a wider range of knowledge and skills such as emotional well-being and self-regulation.

There are still fundamental objections to baseline assessment in many quarters, however. The EYFS Profile has its champions who are reluctant to lose its accumulated data and position at the end of the EYFS. Some unions do not want to see national testing here or higher up the education system. Jack is well and truly out of the box again.

Thank you to Cathy and Sue

The columns opposite from Professor Cathy Nutbrown and Sue Cowley are their final ones for Nursery World’s ‘To the point’ section. We’re very grateful to both of them for their words of wisdom and their passion for the early years, which have made for such riveting reading over the past few years. We know they will continue to contribute in other ways.

Next month, our two new columnists will begin – Michael Pettavel, head of Brougham Street Childcare and Nursery School, and Natalie Perera of the Education Policy Institute. We look forward to welcoming them on board.

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