Steve McCabe – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Education

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Steve McCabe on 2016-04-14.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 21 March 2016 to Question 31440, on primary education, how many (a) head teachers, (b) teachers and (c) union representatives her Department worked closely with during the introduction of those reforms.

Nick Gibb

The Department works with teachers, head teachers and unions in developing education policy; our assessment reforms are no exception.

The assessment reforms which take effect this summer follow two public consultations in 2013 and 2014. Our primary school assessment and accountability consultation, running from July to October 2013, received 1,187 written responses, including 320 teachers, 324 head teachers and 21 union or professional organisations. We also held discussions at a series of events and conferences alongside this. In 2014, our consultation on performance descriptors for statutory teacher assessment, running from October to December 2014, received 880 responses.

All assessment materials produced by the Standards and Testing Agency are developed in close collaboration with teachers. Teachers were involved in the initial creation of the new test model and are involved at three key points during the development of every new test. Teachers will also be involved in setting the expected standards.

We have listened to the concerns of teachers, head teachers and unions as the reforms have been introduced. In response we have given teachers more time to submit teacher assessments and published a ‘clarification’ document to guide schools through the new arrangements.

We also set up two expert groups involving serving and former teachers to advise the Department on aspects of assessment, including the Commission on Assessment Without Levels and the Rochford Review of Assessment for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests.

We will continue to listen to the concerns of teachers and their union representatives as the details of the new assessment arrangements are finalised.