IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


VIRTUAL EVENT: High standards, not high stakes: an alternative to SATs

19 July 2021, 5:00 pm–6:15 pm

Primary pupil completing school work. Image: Jessica Lewis via Pexels

This webinar introduces the British Educational Research Association (BERA) expert panel on assessment.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Bernardita Munoz Chereau

A series of proposals from the BERA expert panel on assessment to replace England’s punitive high stakes testing and accountability system with a different approach designed to foster fairer and more sustainable system improvement through more strategic and proportionate oversight.

The panel’s proposals rest on testing fewer pupils and collecting more in-depth contextual data to inform stakeholders (parents, policymakers and the public) about the system’s strengths and weaknesses. New roles for key institutions charged with overseeing the system will see education removed from excessive political interference at the centre, and a return to broader-based, deliberative decision-making that is research-informed and responsive to local needs.

The proposal will be discussed by invited speakers from academic, practitioner and policymaking communities. Discussion will then be opened to the floor.

This event is co-organised by BERA and the UCL Institute of Education.

The session will be particularly useful for those interested in:

  • assessment
  • accountability
  • primary education
  • testing.


5pm | Introduction and welcome - Dr Bernie Munoz, Senior Research Fellow, UCL Institute of Education

5:05 to 5:15pm | Why the quest to test is flawed: A headteacher’s perspective on things as they stand - Dr Kulvarn Atwal, Executive Headteacher

5:15 to 5:30pm | Democratic and intelligent accountability: how to transform the current system? - Professor Gemma Moss, Professor of Literacy, and Director of the International Literacy Centre, UCL Institute of Education

5:30 to 5:45pm | The advantages of a national sample and how it could be made to work - Professor Emeritus Pamela Sammons, Department of Education, University of Oxford and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford

5:45 to 6pm | Panel discussion - Professor Jo-Anne Baird, Director of the Department and Professor of Educational Assessment at University of Oxford

6 to 6:15pm | Q&A - open to the floor

DLL seminar series

The Department of Learning and Leadership (DLL) hosts a research seminar series where invited speakers present work relevant to the department’s areas of expertise.