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Agenda item

Assessment Support For Schools 2021


Anthony Doudle and Jeff Cole, Heads of School Improvement presented the report on Assessment Support for School 2021.


In the presentation and discussion the following main points were made:

·       All Early Years Foundation Stage and Primary assessments were cancelled in 2020.

·       Education settings were required to complete an annual report to parents/carers.

·       There was no publication of any school data as it had not been validated and there were no comparative data sets. Schools had used their data internally to identify priorities, develop catch-up plans and inform teaching and learning priorities.

·       This year there would be a similar situation as schools were in lockdown from January to March 2021.

·       The two year old progress check was a statutory assessment that should be carried out unless a provider was affected by Coronavirus restrictions. It was observation based and was important as it was often the first indication of children who required more support. Outcomes from the progress check were not reported to the local authority.

·       The Early Years Foundation Stage profile at age five would not be mandatory again this year. The DfE guidance expected schools to use their “best endeavours” to carry out the assessment and provide information to parents and to Year 1 teachers.

·       The service would assist schools to moderate data and would facilitate non-statutory small assessment cluster groups during the summer term. There would be a focus on specific underperforming groups.

·       Primary assessments between April and July 2021 had been cancelled. There would be no data from Key Stage 1 teacher assessments and no SATs assessments at Year 6. The phonics screening check was partially undertaken in December but the June part was cancelled. The Year 4 multiplication check had been delayed for another year.

·       Schools should continue using assessment to inform teaching, to enable them to give information to parents on their child’s attainment in their statutory annual report and to support the transition of Key Stage 2 pupils to secondary school.

·       The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) strongly encouraged schools to use past test papers in their assessment of pupils. The local authority would be providing guidance on which papers to use for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The local authority would also be supporting schools to administer the phonics check to those pupils who did not reach the threshold or were absent during the window due to illness or self-isolation.

·       A non-statutory moderation event for primary schools could take place if permitted and this would meet public health requirements. Schools would be invited when pupils were on the borderline between Working Towards the Expected Standard/Expected/Greater Depth. There would be a focus on White UK disadvantaged and Black Caribbean pupils.

·       The 2021 GCSEs had been cancelled. Last year 12,600 had taken part in the consultation on replacing exams and 1,939 of these were from students. This year there had been more than 94,700 responses to the consultation. This was the biggest response to a DfE consultation ever: 46,918 of these responses were from students.

·       The local authority would ensure that timely support was given to schools and would also provide moderation support. Schools would be reminded about the unconscious bias work undertaken in 2020 and would offer further training where this had not yet happened to support teacher assessment.

·       In response to a question about the appeals process, an officer advised that the student would appeal to the school first and the school would decide if the procedures were followed and, if not, could change the grade. If the student was not happy with the school’s decision, they could appeal to the exams board. Evidence and procedures would be considered and the exam board could change the grade where appropriate.

·       A member asked how much assessment was based on work undertaken during lockdown as some would have been unable to engage e.g. those with SEND or those who were in digital poverty. An officer stated that the assessment would be based on the level each young person was at now and where they had been for a period of time. Advice was to use evidence right up to the assessment and some schools were using additional papers as evidence. There would be a period of time in which appeals could be made.

·       In response to a question from a member of the public about whether there was a scheme to get every young person registered with the library service, an officer advised that libraries had an important role. The Get Islington Reading programme was a partnership formed to encourage reading. The Summer Reading Challenge was a programme led by schools and libraries. More than 3,000 children would be invited to sign up in school.

·       In response to a question from a member of the public about the possible grade inflation this year, an officer stated that it was not known.


Officers were thanked for their report.



That the report be noted.

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