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Children’s baseline assessment… or accountability? | RFTRW: S02E03

22 June 2020

Dr Humera Iqbal talks to Dr Guy Roberts-Holmes about research exploring the experiences of teachers implementing Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) to measure the progress of children aged 4 to 5.

Dr Guy Roberts-Holmes - Research for the Real World podcast

Research for the Real World: S02E03

Guy Roberts-Holmes, Associate Professor in Early Childhood Education

To help set the scene, the RBA is designed to provide a ‘baseline’ of children’s progress through primary school, with results then compared to their attainment levels at age 11, to produce a ‘progress measure’ of school effectiveness. A key focus of government assessment and accountability strategy for primary schools, following a trial and pilot period ending in 2019, the RBA is expected to be rolled out in England from September 2020.

Guided by concerns raised by early years professionals and existing literature, research led by Guy and Dr Alice Bradbury sought accounts and data from administering the assessment during the pilot to determine the impact it had on children, teachers and their schools.

We hear from Guy about the key findings from the study and calls for the implementation of the RBA to be scrapped, citing concerns over unintended consequences on children’s development and wellbeing, additional strain on workloads, and the undermining teacher professional identity, especially during a period of unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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