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Primary Education: Standards

Question for Department for Education

UIN 885, tabled on 12 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the evidence published by More Than A Score, what plans he has to implement the recommendations of that organisation on (a) cancelling the introduction of the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) in English and maths for four-year-olds in September 2021, (b) pausing all other statutory assessments in years one, two, four and six and (c) setting up an independent profession-led review into primary assessment.

Answered on

21 May 2021

Assessment is a crucial part of a child’s schooling and fundamental in a high performing education system. Statutory assessments at primary school are an essential part of ensuring that all pupils master the basics of reading, writing and Mathematics to prepare them for secondary school. Assessment data will also enable parents, schools and the Department to understand the impact of lost time in education and recovery initiatives. As such, the Department has no plans to cancel the statutory implementation of the Reception Baseline Assessment in September 2021, and the Department continues to plan for a return to a full programme of primary assessments in the 2021/22 academic year.

In 2017, the Government carried out a consultation into primary assessment in England. The consultation received over 4,000 responses from a diverse range of backgrounds and specialisms, providing a broad and informed range of views that informed policy on the current primary assessment system. In addition, the Department engages with relevant stakeholders on a regular basis to understand their views on primary assessment.