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Boycott the baseline

(22 Posts)
EllaL215 Thu 02-Jul-15 18:10:40

hi mums net
A friend and early years teacher has asked me to share with you this site and would love to hear some of your opinions?

The campaign against baseline testing now has a new website and petition, and is calling for the support of parents and teachers in challenging government policymaking that fails to respond to the recommendations of democratic consultation, and that continues to prioritise school accountability over the best interests of the child.

What it doesn't mention is that parents can insist their children aren't tested. One expert on Early Years education that I know says: Legally - the previous government did NOT make the baseline compulsory so I am sure any parent could (and should) refuse to allow their child to be tested or assessed!


RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 02-Jul-15 18:17:37

Teaching's going to be a bit dificult if parents aren't going to allow teachers to assess their children on entry.

Heels99 Thu 02-Jul-15 18:20:43

Why? What's the benefit ?

bobajob Thu 02-Jul-15 18:24:04

Teachers always baselined children on entry anyway. Not sure how parents can refuse to allow their children to be assessed - how would that work?

TeenAndTween Thu 02-Jul-15 18:27:13

Absolutely agree with other posters. If schools don't do an initial baseline, how will they know what to teach the children?

mrz Thu 02-Jul-15 18:36:23

The majority of schools(11000/17000) have signed up to use the Early Excellence model which involves no testing but assessment through observing children in play and alongside adults (sounds familiar?) the campaign is ill informed at best.
The 2 other baselines approved are provided by Durham CEM (which produced PIPs and ASPECTs both widely used in nurseries and reception classes especially private sector) and something from the NFER which is a mixture of 1-1 tasks (similar to those found in most EY settings according to them) and observations ...

Littlefish Thu 02-Jul-15 19:10:33

Schools have always baselined children. The thing that's different now is that it will be reported to the Local Authority. Without baselining a child, how will teachers know that they have made progress? How will they know what to teach the children?

I'm pretty sure that the parents who try and refuse to have their child assessed would be pretty quick to complain if they felt their child wasn't being taught at the right level.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 02-Jul-15 19:28:48


This is all going to be my fault isn't it?

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 02-Jul-15 19:29:37

Sorry. Wrong thread.

EllaL215 Thu 02-Jul-15 20:24:53

There is nothing to lose by telling schools you don't want your child reduced to a number within the first 6 weeks of starting school. these assessments don't take into account creativity, knowledge & understanding, summer-born or EAL, they do not provide a whole picture of your child, & they have to be rushed through by mid october, so again, how accurate is that going to be.

TeenAndTween Thu 02-Jul-15 20:32:38

But until the teachers have seen what the children can do, how can they plan what to teach them?

You seem to be muddling up baseline assessment with testing / pass-fail / branding as clever etc etc. Surely all they want to do is to properly understand the skills of the little people they have in front of them, so they can do their job effectively?

bobajob Thu 02-Jul-15 20:33:08

Is it the assessment itself you object to Ella or just the results being reported?

Children will always be assessed within the first few weeks of school.

mrz Thu 02-Jul-15 20:34:51

Have you seen any of the actual baselines or are you just repeating the misinformation?

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 02-Jul-15 20:37:43

Some of the assessments available look at all areas and well being as well. are you familiar with any of the assessments that have been developed for baseline.

And of course teachers have always assessed in the first half term. How do you know where to start teaching if you don't know what the children can do?

mrz Thu 02-Jul-15 20:38:42

Baseline assessment was first introduced in 1997

mrz Thu 02-Jul-15 20:47:58

Reflect Good Baseline
Assessment Practice
Choose EExBA
Works Within
the Principles
of the EYFS
Creates an
Record of the
Whole Child
Reliable Data
to Track
Early Excellence
Baseline Assessment
Early Excellence Baseline
EExBA consists of an initial screening process to
assess each child’s ‘Well-being & Involvement’ using
the Leuven Scales* and it covers a set of assessment
criteria drawn from aspects of the ‘Characteristics
of Effective Learning’ and the ‘Areas of Learning
& Development’ as detailed in the EYFS statutory
framework and supporting guidance.
EExBA builds on YR practitioners’ experience of working
with the principles and practice of effective assessment
within the EYFS and has been designed to provide
a continuity of approach with regard to making judgements
about children’s level of development.
The approach enables practitioners to accurately describe
children’s attainment on entry to YR by drawing together
evidence of their knowledge of the children from a range
of means. This includes evidence found within records
from previous settings, information from parents that can
be validated, and observations of and interactions with the
children themselves during their initial period in YR through:
– Self-initiated play
– Small group activities
– Adult directed tasks
EExBA allows you to take account of information that
reflects the whole child."

Feenie Thu 02-Jul-15 21:27:03

I think perhaps the OP thinks we actually sit them down with a test paper, or interrogate them to within an inch of their lives?

I have news for you, OP - I'm afraid your child will be assessed every day from the minute they walk through the door. We need to know what they can already do, so that we know what to teach them next. And it doesn't hurt smile

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 02-Jul-15 22:09:28

I've just looked at the website. The idea that the profile will be a tragic loss and provides relevant data is quite funny.

This would be the same profile that's full of wishy washy statements and is being moderated to very different standards in different LAs. And that's not even considering the issue that some teachers and moderators are still fixated on the idea of all or 80% of the evidence being child initiated.

mrz Fri 03-Jul-15 05:50:13

The same profile they opposed when it replaced baseline assessment ...

mrz Fri 03-Jul-15 06:42:12

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 03-Jul-15 07:58:07

I thought that might have been the case but wasn't sure if I was remembering correctly.

I have to admit my first thought about the unions opposing it was some of the unions oppose everything for no particular reason. Saying they don't agree with something is now quite meaningless.

LibrariesGaveUsPower Fri 03-Jul-15 15:52:26

* & they have to be rushed through by mid october, so again, how accurate is that going to be.*

How are they a snapshot of where your child is on starting school if they are done much later than that?confused

I don't get it. I am no fan of this government, but honestly it doesn't sound that daft to me as a parent. Find out what my child can do and then target their learning. Our school is doing the observing thing anyway, which they say is pretty much what they always did.

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