State of Education survey report 2016 - Page 36

How are school leaders feeling about assessment and accountability? New arrangements for assessment remain a concern for school leaders. Managing internal assessment after the removal of National Curriculum levels proved difficult for more than three-quarters (77%) of school leaders over the 12 months preceding our survey. One-third (34%) of leaders are still not confident that their school’s internal assessment system is accurately assessing and tracking pupil progress. Primary leaders are not convinced by the new National Curriculum tests at Key Stages 1 and 2, from 2016. More than nine in 10 (93%) do not believe that these will have a positive impact on pupil attainment at their school, and some voiced frustration about the delay in availability of guidance and exemplification materials. These concerns chime with union criticisms of the new primary assessment system for raising expected standards of achievement without allowing schools enough time or support to adapt6. I am confident that my school’s internal assessment systems are accurately assessing and tracking pupil progress following the removal of National Curriculum levels 65% Agree N/A 1% 34% Disagree NUT – 6 36 State of Education Survey 2016 | The difficulty for schools is that no-one knows what the impact will be of their own assessment systems or the new testing because we have not yet experienced it. We are working in the dark at the moment.” School leader Secondary school leaders are also unconvinced about the reforms to GCSEs, with three-quarters (74%) saying that they do not believe the reforms will have a positive impact on their pupils’ attainment. There is strong feeling about the proposal to reintroduce formal, externally marked testing of seven year-olds, with more than nine in 10 (91%) primary school leaders opposing this. Over three-quarters (78%) of secondary leaders state that they, too, aren’t in favour, despite it having no immediate bearing on them. Looking ahead to the new performance measures being implemented as part of accountability reforms, we see a split in opinion between primary and secondary school leaders. The majority (80%) of primary leaders do not think that changes to attainment and progress measures for primary schools from 2016 will more accurately reflect their school’s overall performance. In contrast, secondary leaders are mostly positive about the new progress 8 measure, with seven in 10 (69%) agreeing that it will more accurately capture the overall performance of their school. School improvement and inspection Nearly three-quarters (74%) of school leaders do not think that there is enough support for schools deemed to be ‘inadequate’. School leaders also show dissatisfaction with the government’s approach to improving standards in these schools: nine in 10 (90%) disagree with forced academisation and nearly two-thirds (64%) Find further comment at