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Early Education condemns government decision on baseline assessment

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Thursday, 14 September, 2017

Government has today announced its response to the Primary Assessment consultation.

Early Education issued the following statement, together with the Better Without Baseline campaign:

We are disappointed that government has not listened to the views of early years practitioners and researchers and seems set to repeat its costly and misguided attempts to reintroduce a commercially run baseline assessment scheme in reception. Early labelling of children based on flawed data is deeply damaging to children's progress. Reception teachers across the country who are busy helping new children settle in this year will dread repeating the experience of last year's pilots, which gave them no additional helpful knowledge about their children's starting points, and took up days of teacher time. Headteachers should be concerned that they will be held to account with dodgy data - the government has not provided satisfactory evidence that a reliable and valid baseline measure can be conducted with 4-year-olds that will show progress achieved with KS2 results. It is vital that any proposed scheme is piloted to show that it can address these concerns, and that the benefits outweigh the human and monetary costs. 

Notes to editors: 

Early Education (The British Association for Early Childhood Education) is the leading independent national charity for early years practitioners and parents, campaigning for the right of all children to education of the highest quality. Founded in 1923, it has members in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and provides a national voice on matters that relate to effective early childhood education and care of young children from birth to eight. The organisation supports the professional development of practitioners through publications, training, conferences, seminars and access to a national and regional branch network. For more information on the work of Early Education visit