Commenting on the Department for Education’s decision to delay the introduction of statutory reception baseline assessment to autumn 2021, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

“The National Education Union welcomes the decision not to implement reception baseline assessment in September: schools need to be fully focused on supporting children's learning as they return to school, and Baseline testing would have been a complete distraction. Government must be honest with parents and pupils that whilst teachers will be doing their utmost to ensure the wellbeing of pupils and their learning, it won't be the same as we left it in March.

“Although the Government has had the good sense to call off the tests, it is still encouraging schools to become 'early adopters' of the tests. There is no value to schools in doing this: Baseline remains a pointless exercise in accountability, not a measure that can improve the quality of teaching and learning. Alongside many others in the Early Years sector, the union will continue to campaign for the complete withdrawal of Reception Baseline Assessment from the policy agenda.”