Dawn asks about reducing teacher workload and maintaing pupil well-being

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans her Department has to reduce teacher workload and maintain pupil well-being when new Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 assessments are introduced.

Answered by Nick Gibb, Minister for Education
Primary schools already carry out assessments at the end of key stages 1 and 2. We have developed new forms of assessment to align with the new National Curriculum. We recognise that in this first year of the new the assessments pupils and teachers will be adapting to the change, but the best way to prepare pupils remains to focus on teaching the new National Curriculum, which schools have been doing since September 2014.

The removal of unnecessary workload is a priority for this Department. Our primary assessment reforms have been designed to put arrangements for the majority of classroom assessment, between key stages, back into the hands of schools and to reduce the tracking burdens that national curriculum levels encouraged. We believe schools are best placed to decide how to assess pupils in line with their curriculum and that over time this should lead to a reduction in workload for teachers so that their efforts can focus on teaching.

As previously, schools should encourage high attainment among all pupils to but we do not recommend that they devote excessive preparation time for assessment and certainly not at the expense of a pupil’s wellbeing. We trust teachers to administer tests in a way that does not put undue pressure on pupils. Schools are also required to provide continuous and appropriate support as part of a whole school approach to supporting the wellbeing and resilience of pupils.

While we have set a more challenging expected standard to reflect our high aspirations for children, the new statutory assessments still measure the same range of attainment as previously. In addition, statutory assessments only form part of the broader assessments that teachers make on an ongoing basis. Schools should continue to put statutory assessment outcomes in the context of pupils’ overall achievements and progress. We expect schools to ensure that assessment is reported in an appropriate and proportionate manner.


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