Secondary assessment

This country’s over-reliance on a rigid, one size fits all exam system, and Government's continued insistence on defunding vital BTECs and CAMTECs, is unsustainable and doesn’t meet the various challenges facing young people, our society and our economy in the 21st century.

The experiences of grading in 2020 and 2021 have shown the fragility of the outdated assessment system. For exams going ahead in2022, government must ensure the process is fair for all students and does not create unacceptable additional workload for school staff.

The rushed, last-minute processes implemented by Government for assessment during the pandemic are not models for the future, however the system needs to change and has shown it can. The teaching profession is brim full of experts who understand the lessons we can learn from the pandemic.

The NEU have been working for the past year alongside academics, parents and students to support the Independent Assessment Commission (IAC), to build a new, fairer and more robust assessment and qualification system, one which recognises the realities of the 21st century and supports all young people to succeed. Now is the time for Government to listen the growing chorus of voices calling for change.

The IAC’s final report has now been launched!

Read IAC Final Report

The consensus voice of all those involved – teachers, parents, students, academics, employers, policy makers and members from all political parties – has made a clear case for change.

The NEU will use the report’s findings to further champion a New ERA of equitable, reliable assessment and a qualification system that:

  • is fit for purpose for the 21st century,
  • allows all students to demonstrate and be recognised for what they can do,
  • is more relevant and robust than relying solely on exams
  • addresses the impacts on mental health and wellbeing that the current system imposes by placing all assessment at one cliff-edge moment.

Primary assessment

The high-stakes testing system in primary schools is not fit for purpose. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted even further the flaws in this system.

After two years in which SATs and other formal tests have been cancelled, the union has worked with More Than A Score to make the case against a return to the previous system of primary tests.