Take a stand against over-testing

More Than A Score believes schools, teachers and pupils deserve better than the current assessment regime.

We understand that the primary years are critical to instil a love of learning and deliver a rewarding school experience. But over-testing hampers schools’ efforts to facilitate this. It places an unnecessary burden on both teachers and pupils and is a wholly inefficient way to measure a school’s performance.

We support heads who believe teachers and pupils should be encouraged and motivated to do their very best, not demoralised by rote-learning and a narrow curriculum. Devoting so much school time to high-stakes testing ill-prepares the children in our care for the demands of 21st century society.

We think a school’s achievements can be better assessed in the round. Alternative assessment systems are proven to improve children’s education and deliver a more complete analysis of a school’s performance.

For many years, the year 6 curriculum has narrowed and the pressure on 10 and 11 year-olds has grown as pupils are prepared for KS2 SATs. Now, the government is pushing ahead with its plans to introduce baseline assessment in reception. This is in the face of public opposition from over 700 heads, teachers, academics and experts. The British Educational Research Association has described the proposals as “ethically and methodologically questionable” and with “dubious validity”.

In addition, the phonics check remains in place despite overwhelming opposition from heads, teachers and parents and, in 2019, the government will undertake a pilot of the times tables check – another example of children’s education being restricted and narrowed to meet targets and league tables.

Together, we can take a stand against unfair and inefficient assessment. If you agree that children and schools deserve better, please join our campaign.

If you would like to join the growing opposition to baseline assessment, sign the petition to Nick Gibb MP urging him to cancel the programme before it is rolled out nationally.

16th January 2019

Baseline assessment: out of the frying pan, into the fire

Primary school leaders will soon be faced with a dilemma. The government will be encouraging them to join a trial run of tests on four-year-olds starting school next September. Should they go along with baseline assessment as a trade-off for removing statutory testing at the end of Key Stage One? Or would this be swapping one nightmare for another, and storing up big problems for the future?

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27th September 2018

Heads, teachers and parents agree: the phonics check is nonsense

As the Department for Education announces the results of this year’s phonics screening check, new research reveals that heads, teachers and parents overwhelmingly oppose the controversial reading test for six-year-olds.

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The evidence

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The evidence against the current system of standardised assessment is growing.  Academics and educators agree: the regime is not fit for purpose.

The alternatives

Download the book

There are alternatives to the current regime and the time is right for debate among heads, governors, parents, politicians and parents. Our contribution is Beyond the Exam Factory, a book bringing together experience and expertise from England and internationally.

Get involved

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There are lots of ways that you can demonstrate your opposition to the current assessment regime.  Our action toolkit includes resources and advice to help you take action.

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