THE PHASING OUT OF NATIONAL CURRICULUM LEVELS
National Curriculum levels will cease for Years 1, 3, 4 and 5 at the end of this academic year and for Years 2 and 6 at the end of the 2014/15 academic year. In future schools will be expected to make their own decisions about how to assess pupils. This has implications for future Ofsted inspections, which currently rely heavily on National Curriculum level-related data in RAISEOnline.
HOW OFSTED PLAN TO INSPECT SCHOOLS
This excerpt from Sir Michael Wilshaw’s speech at the North of England Education Conference in January 2014, illustrates what Ofsted will be looking for when carrying out their inspections:
Good schools have always tracked their pupils’ progress and Ofsted will expect to see this continue. We will not endorse any particular approach. But we do expect every school to be able to show what their pupils know, understand and can do through continuous assessment and summative tests.
I don’t know of any good or outstanding school that doesn’t set targets for children to achieve at the end of any key stage. I don’t know of any good or outstanding school that doesn’t use assessment to establish whether children are hitting those targets. I have never seen a good or outstanding school that doesn’t have summative tests at the end of each year.
Regular testing has received a bad press in recent years, as if it were somehow separate and antithetical to the business of education. It is not. It is an essential tool that allows students and their teachers to assess progress. Continue reading →