New review of assessment for low-attaining pupils set up

Schools minister Nick Gibb has announced plans to create a statutory new system to assess the progress of low-attaining pupils.

The government has set up a review panel, to be led by the executive head of a special school, that will investigate how best to assess more than half-a-million key stage one and two pupils whose ability is too low to take national curriculum tests.

They include those with special educational needs.

The panel has been asked to find “a solution for a comprehensive statutory assessment for these pupils”, a statement from the Department for Education said.

Mr Gibb said he was concerned that pupils were “at risk of falling into a gap created by a lack of comprehensive assessment for pupils with lower levels of attainment.”

It comes after the government scrapped the national system of assessment, in which children were assessed as being at one of eight national curriculum levels. The review aims to find ways of making sure that the new arrangements for assessment without levels will include assessment of low-attaining pupils.

“The review will consider how best to assess the attainment and progress of this group of pupils so that parents know how their children are doing and schools can be given appropriate credit for the work they do to support their pupils,” the DfE statement said.

Diane Rochford, executive headteacher of the John F Kennedy School in east London, will lead the review.

“Parents of pupils of all abilities have the right to know how their children are progressing at school,” Mr Gibb said. “This review will help establish accurate information which they can use to hold their school to account.”

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