Nick Brook, Deputy General Secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
“NAHT support the concept of a reception baseline. The progress that children make in primary school is a far better indicator of school effectiveness than attainment figures alone, which ignore the fact that children have very different starting points. It makes little sense to take a baseline measure for progress midway through the primary years, as is the case now, effectively ignoring the incredible work and progress made in those critical first few years of school.
“Developing a reliable and workable baseline assessment, that does not hinder teachers and children in those important first few months of school, is fraught with difficulty. Get it right however, with the associated removal of SATs at the end of year 2, and we should finally start to see the reduction in the volume of high stakes testing in primary that NAHT has long called for.
“NAHT strongly believe that the approach of working with the DfE and the Standards and Testing Agency on the development and piloting of a new baseline assessment is in the best interests of school staff, parents and children, to ensure that the baseline assessment is well designed and properly implemented. The ongoing support of school leaders for roll-out of the baseline will be dependent upon STA and the DfE addressing our remaining concerns.”
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