In a letter to MPs today, Schools Minister Nick Gibb announced that secondary legislation laid before Parliament this afternoon would pave the way for the introduction of Baseline Assessment for four-year-olds in September 2021. Commenting, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“In yet another end-of-term announcement, the government is confronting schools with new, unnecessary and harmful policies. The answer to the challenges of educational recovery is not more testing, but this is a lesson that the government is finding it hard to learn. Research into Baseline pilots has suggested that it will disrupt children's settling-in period in their new school and that it will provide no useful information to teachers. Its main function will be to hold schools to account for their test results. Like the rest of the panoply of statutory assessment in primary schools it will work to damage the quality of educational experience, in the name of principles which most educators see as irrelevant to their current priorities.
“This year of all years is a terrible time to introduce a statutory requirement to introduce a baseline test which is designed not to give information to either teachers or parents."