ATL comment on Reception Baseline Comparability Study published by DfE

Press release
07 April 2016 by ATL Media Office
ATL welcomes news that reception baseline assessment will not be used as a starting point to measure pupil progress

Commenting on the Reception Baseline Comparability Study, published by the Department for Education (DfE) today (Thursday 7 April), Nansi Ellis, assistant general secretary (policy) of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said:

"We welcome the news that reception baseline assessment will not be used as a starting point to measure pupil progress following a comparability study. ATL and NUT research shows that only 6.7% of respondents agree that baseline is "a good way to assess how primary schools perform". Our joint study goes further, to suggest that baseline assessment is potentially damaging for children.

"Given that fewer than 1 in 10 respondents found that the reception baseline assessment was an "accurate and fair way to assess children" it is not surprising that ATL members at our Annual Conference voted overwhelmingly for the reception baseline assessment to be scrapped.

"ATL believes the reception baseline assessment is a waste of money, a waste of time, and tells reception teachers nothing useful about the children in their class. And as the outcomes cannot be used for accountability, we see no reason why schools would choose to undertake baseline assessment in September. We look forward to being properly consulted as the Government considers future options."

Notes to editors

  1. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing approximately 170,000 teachers, headteachers, lecturers and support staff in maintained and independent nurseries, schools, sixth form, tertiary and further education colleges in the United Kingdom.
  2. ATL exists to help members, as their careers develop, through first rate research, advice, information and legal advice.
  3. ATL is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). ATL is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.