The plans for Baseline testing for all Reception pupils is scheduled to start this September, and the Government still wants them to go ahead.
Therefore, this week, the National Education Union has thrown its weight behind a campaign to ditch the new Reception baseline assessment amid the present “unprecedented disruption” caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Commenting on this latest petition, Peter Shreeve, Assistant District Secretary of the National Education Union said:
“Immediate cancellation of the introduction of Reception Baseline Assessment in the Autumn term will reassure all parents of four-year-olds who will be starting school in the coming year that their children’s welfare is being prioritised, and will show that government understands that young children cannot begin to learn until they feel safe, secure and settled.
“We must give Reception pupils a sound start to school in September. They will have missed a great deal of the necessary practical and emotional preparation including transition visits and, potentially, a whole term or more in nursery.
“The Baseline assessment process will be a huge distraction, at a time when schools main focus should be building relationships and giving children the opportunity to catch up on the many learning opportunities they will have missed. The consequences of Lockdown cannot and should not be ignored.
“Presently, we have a fuzzy picture of the future, based on several unknowns — particularly regarding the duration of the pandemic and when it will be safe for all pupils and staff to return to a fully normalised education setting.
“It is unlikely that, we will be unable to return to ‘business as usual’ across the education system as a whole in September. We have abandoned sitting exams at secondary level because of Covid-19. Let’s use our common sense and make realistic allowances. Let’s do the same and abandon this extra pressure of baseline tests for our 4-year olds.”
For more information about the development of an assessment for pupils in reception to measure their progress in primary schools from 2020, click here.