Educational assessment expert to advise Government
Press release issued: 19 November 2008
An academic in educational assessment has been appointed an independent advisor by the Government's Department for Children, Schools and Families to an Expert Group who are looking at assessment between key stages 1 to 3, school accountability and the introduction of a new School Report Card.
Dr Jo-Anne Baird from the University of Bristol's Graduate School of Education (GSOE) will give advice to the expert group on future assessment and accountability systems for primary and secondary schools.
Schools Secretary Ed Balls announced last month the Government plans to introduce the new School Report Card, to give parents a new, simpler and more comprehensive way of understanding schools' performance and achievements.
The new School Report Cards are part of wider changes to strengthen schools' accountability to parents and the public, raise school standards, and reform pupil testing and assessment. The Government will set out detailed proposals on report cards for consultation with schools, parents and the public by the end of this year, leading to a White Paper in spring 2009.
The new expert group, made up of headteachers and education professionals, will advise on the details of the new arrangements. The group will also advise Government on the introduction of national-level sampling at Key Stage 3 so that the performance of the education system as a whole can still be monitored by the public, year on year.
Dr Baird, commenting on her appointment, said: 'Our assessment and accountability systems have a huge impact upon teachers and learners and it is essential that the likely implications of new systems are understood.
'I will be contributing to the Expert Group by highlighting what we have learned from the implementation of previous assessment systems.'
The new Expert Group will make recommendations as follows:
- At Key Stage 1, examining whether the current system of requiring teachers to use nationally set tasks as part of moderated teacher assessment is working effectively;
- At Key Stage 2, what advice should be provided to schools to ensure that preparation for national curriculum tests at Key Stage 2 is proportionate and educationally appropriate;
- How assessment can support children in making the best possible progress over the transition between primary and secondary schools - particularly those who start Year 7 behind their peers;
- At Key Stage 3, how best to develop national-level sampling, taking into account experience in this country and abroad;
- At Key Stage 3, whether more can be done to ensure that every parent receives regular reports on their child's progress in years 7, 8 and 9, and that teachers have the training and support to track progress rigorously;
- How best to ensure that this package of measures does not add unnecessarily to teachers' workload.
The expert group will consist of five core members: Maurice Smith, Tim Brighouse, Jim Rose, and headteachers Yasmin Bevan and Gill Mills. The group will have access to independent technical advice, and will consult others. The group will provide a report to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and began its work in October, concluding by February 2009.