Assessment: It’s been a long journey… and we’re not there yet!

Ramblings of a Teacher

Just over three years ago, in the early months of the coalition government, Michael Gove appointed an expert panel to advise him on the development of the National Curriculum. It included in its remit the requirement to consider “what, if anything, should replace existing attainment targets and level descriptors to define better the standards of attainment children should reach, and be assessed against, at various points through their education“.

In December 2011, (after some controversy) the Expert Panel reported and made some clear statements and recommendations:

We […] emphasise the importance of establishing a very direct and clear relationship between ‘that which is to be learned’ and all assessment (both formative and ongoing, through to periodic and summative)


Taking this approach has much greater technical and practical integrity, and is likely to improve both learning and assessment. The key challenge will be to write Attainment Targets that…

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