More Than a Score believes that the current system of national testing of primary school children to judge the effectiveness of teachers and schools is deeply flawed. It has resulted in:
- A narrowing of the curriculum, as schools concentrate on teaching to the requirements of the assessment system at the expense of a broader education.
- The introduction of an unrealistic set of standards, which in 2016 categorised nearly half of eleven year olds as failing, and which undermine some children’s sense of themselves as learners.
- The exclusion of large groups of students – particularly pupils with special educational needs and disabilities – from mainstream learning activities.
- An increase in numbers of children suffering from school-related anxiety and mental health problems and who became disengaged from learning.
- A fall in teachers’ morale, contributing to serious problems recruiting and retaining staff.
Children are more than a score. Testing reduces the complexity of children’s learning to a numerical score, which is grossly misleading.
THE WAY FORWARD:
More Than a Score calls on the government of Theresa May to:
- Recognise the scale of these problems and respond to the unprecedentedly high level of professional and parental concern.
- Suspend arrangements for primary assessment in 2016/17.
- Hold an independent and expert review to produce recommendations for the revision of the primary school curriculum, assessment and public accountability.
More than a Score is committed to promoting a range of forms of assessment to influence teaching effectively – and reveal the full range of a child’s abilities – rather than to judge schools.
We will campaign with teachers, parents and others to end the present system of assessment and introduce an alternative model which enjoys professional and public confidence.