Today the Department for Education announced that it is awarding the National Foundation for Educational Research the £10 million contract to develop Baseline Assessment of all four years olds in England.

At the weekend the TES featured an open letter from More Than a Score and more than 700 leading academics and teachers opposing the introduction of Baseline Assessment.

We encourage parents, teachers and educational experts to oppose Baseline. Sign our petition today.

More Than a Score Statement for Press

Madeleine Holt, More Than a Score spokesperson, comments on the news that the DfE has awarded NFER, the National Foundation for Educational Research, the £10 million contract to develop the Baseline Assessment of all four year olds in England.

‘Baseline Assessment in various guises has been repeatedly introduced and failed. Reintroducing it is an expensive and pointless exercise which only serves to  damage children’s education and wellbeing.

There is no research evidence that four year olds can be reliably tested; the government has certainly not produced any. The score that the Baseline test produces will not be a true picture of what children can do – yet it will be used to judge schools seven years later to assess whether they have enabled children to make enough progress

By focusing almost exclusively on literacy and numeracy, the proposed baseline assessment will force a narrowing of the curriculum to these areas.  This is counterproductive, as young children will not develop these skills without developing their oral language, physical development and having rich experiences across the curriculum to engage their love of learning and understanding of the world around them.  Teachers around the country are already telling us how they are being pressured to teach in ways that are not in children’s best interests.

Baseline Assessment is doomed to fail again. In the interests of children and their schools, More Than a Score will be working to make sure this happens sooner rather than later.

More Than a Score is an alliance of parents, teachers and educational experts that opposes our current system of primary assessment. It aims to make sure that plans for Baseline Assessment will be scrutinised, criticised and rejected. ‘

For interviews, contact:

Beatrice Merrick, Chief Executive, Early Education
beatrice@early-education.org.uk
Tel: 01923 438 995
Direct line: 01923 438 997
Mobile: 07712 398672