Institute of Education


What if... we re-designed our school testing and assessment system from scratch?

Start: Nov 08, 2018 05:45 PM
End: Nov 08, 2018 07:00 PM

Location: Jeffrey Hall, Level 1, UCL Institute Of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

Race track numbers

What are our Key Stage tests and national examinations for – to support learning, to certify competence, or to sort pupils by ability? One answer is of course ‘all of the above’. But can our assessment system realistically do all of these things, and simultaneously? 

There is the other question of whether we need all the formal tests and exams that we currently have, the number of which continues to expand, in the process prompting concerns among commentators and parents alike. And what about formative assessment and assessment for learning – where should that fit in the overall scheme of things?

What if we started from scratch in designing the purpose and format of our formal assessments throughout primary and secondary schooling? What tests do we really need, at what stage, and why? We have gathered together some contrasting perspectives to reflect on what our assessment system might look like in an ideal world.

Join us in the debate with a host of fantastic speakers including:

  • Tim Oates, Group Director of Assessment Research and Development, Cambridge Assessment
  • Dave Mellor, Director of Assessment and Curriculum, AQA
  • Dr Ruth Dann, Associate Professor, Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment, UCL Institute of Education 
  • Chair: Professor Becky Francis, Director, UCL Institute of Education
  • With more speakers to be announced


This event is open and free for all attend, however, it does require prior registration.

Register to attend

Join the conversation on Twitter at #IOEDebates. The debate will be streamed live on UCL Live. A video recording and podcast will be available online from IOE Public Debates following the series.



Kate Thomas (ioe.events@ucl.ac.uk)