1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Is it time to scrap all testing in reception?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by TES_Rosaline, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Concerns have been raised about baseline assessment. Critics believe that the current national system is not good enough to assess children’s ability on entry to school.

    The Better Without Baseline alliance outlines the reasons why this controversial issue needs to be looked at again in an open letter to Early Excellence, the provider of the assessment scheme.


    Do you agree with the concerns outlined by the alliance? Do the priorities in reception need to be changed so that teachers are focused on settling in and getting to know children instead of having to make separate judgements about each child to try and generate a score?
  2. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Star commenter

    I am surprised to see no one has responded yet, probably too busy with baseline and/or half term.
    So I'll kick off.
    I am not currently teaching in reception, although I have done in the past. I work in the early years sector but many practitioners are concerned about the baseline being or becoming a measure of how well they have prepared children for school.
    I don't like the baseline, but then I never liked the EYFSP either, and yet the critics of the baseline are the very people who didnt like the idea of a national data set against which schools, heads, LAS and 'teachers' in general are told they are doing good enough if their results don't look good enough, despite some being still inappropriate especially for the youngest children in the class, who are often still 4 at the point the EYFSP being submitted.
    Yes this has been around a while now and for many reception teachers will be all they know.
    Yes all teachers do establish a baseline on entry, so what is the 'new' baseline doing that is different? Well telling teachers which things are important (in their view) for one. But would this really be any different from what teachers would naturally do?
    Depressing of scores has been raised. Again this happens already, much to the annoyance of the preschool sector who often feel their hard work is not valued, and I have certainly worked in schools where this was the 'norm' and I am completely confident that I am not alone.

    Next, no evidence that any baseline can predict future attainment. True, but also applies to anything new..including the new EYFSP when it started 3 years ago... We don't have current evidence that this predicts future attainment. Yet is happened.

    Of bigger concern to many is the losing of a national data set, since the baselines are non comparable. How will this fit with the govt plans to bring in 30 hours of 'childcare' (interesting this is called held are and not early education to which it was previously referred but a debate for another day)? How will the govt measure the effectiveness of the EYPP introduced earlier this year without a national data report?

    as I type, I actually think this is much more complex than just to baseline or not. I'd not have a baseline or the EYFSP and continue to show progress in the way the sector does currently.

    Finally there are a couple of conversations here about the baseline, it might be worth looking at what people on the ground are actually saying.

    I hope that's kicked the discussion off.
  3. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you @grumbleweed for your comprehensive response. I hope that others will respond to the comments you have made.

Share This Page