A much-anticipated publication detailing reforms to primary school assessment and accountability hit the pages of the Department for Education’s website last week. In it there is a clear trajectory of travel: standards need to rise and a much greater emphasis will be placed on value-added judgements of a school’s effectiveness. This is neither a surprise nor unreasonable, but with a steep climb over unknown terrain ahead of them, teachers are left wondering how best this can be delivered.
There are two elements in particular which are of interest, and the report is not as explicit as it might be. First, that in striving for floor standards all schools should shoot for both attainment and progress targets as a precautionary measure precisely because the new tracking arrangements in primary are so unknown, and second, that the academies programme needs to prepare itself to take an unprecedented wave of primaries under its wing.