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Primary assessment and accountability under the new national curriculum

14 October 2013

ASE responds to consultation on primary assessment and accountability under the new national curriculum

ASE's response to the Government's consultation on primary assessment and accountability covers teacher assessment and reporting to parents, national curriculum tests, baselines to measure progress, and accountability. ASE's response also considers the use of assessment for a further purpose, identified in the independent review set out in the Bew report (2011) for benchmarking between schools and monitoring performance at local and national levels. 

ASE Recommendations

Teacher assessment and reporting to parents

  • Formative assessment should be the responsibility of the school while statutory summative assessment should be prescribed by Government, but both need to be referenced to the curriculum.  
  • Narrative reports on individual pupils should include attainment in all subjects and should be achievement-related.
  • There should be no requirement to report the results of teacher assessments in summary form to a national database for use in national monitoring.

National curriculum tests

  • Scaled scores will provide enough information to enable parents and teachers to compare the attainment of individual pupils with an average. The use of deciles, where a single mark can make the difference between being in one decile or the next, is unnecessary. 
  • ASE supports continuing assessment of performance in science at KS2 by national sample testing. 

Baselines for progress measures

  • Results of assessment at the start/end of reception year or the end of KS1 should not to be included in value-added calculations for judging and comparing schools.


  • New targets need to be more inclusive of all pupils within schools. Schools are accountable for developing the learning of pupils with different needs and backgrounds, not the overall level of attainment. 

Download ASE's full consultation response


ASE's response has been formulated in consultation with a past President of ASE, Professor Wynne Harlen; and with ASE’s national Primary Science Committee and National Advisors and Inspectors Group for Science (NAIGS).  Together both groups bring expertise in early years and primary science education, from a range of viewpoints, including education research, classroom practitioners and professional development.

As a member organisation of SCORE, ASE has also contributed to the SCORE response to this consultation. Download.

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