On the More Than A Score campaign, we have been working hard over the last few months to build unity of opinion amongst all major stakeholders and policy influencers in the arena of primary assessment – ie SATs and other high-stakes, high-pressure statutory tests.
Seizing on the fact that Covid and lockdowns have led to widespread recognition – amongst parents, as well as the profession – that the current system is not fit for purpose, we have built cross-teaching union and cross-party consensus on the need for reform.
When the government announced its Recovery Commission, headed by Sir Kevan Collins, we knew we needed to change strategy quickly to ensure assessment formed part of the recovery debate. We immediately started work on a detailed, well-evidenced report to present to him, to No. 10 and to the Education Select Committee. We used the power and breadth of our many contacts, from best-selling children’s authors, to union leaders, headteachers, academic experts and parents and children, to produce a large body of work with interesting and moving contributions from across the board.
Our 84-page report, covering everything from the inequalities of social deprivation, systemic racism and what happens to our youngest when failure is hard-wired into the system, to burgeoning mental health issues and the growing hiatus between government policy and professional and parental views, was completed within the timeframe required to put primary assessment on the recovery map.