Starting this school year, half of all primary schools across England will test “reception baseline assessments” – 20-minute tests for 4-5 year olds in their first week of primary school.

The government claims that the assessments will be stress free, and test children’s communication, language, literacy and mathematics skills.

The results will then be compared to the results of tests taken at the end of their primary school career in order to track progress.

However, in a survey conducted by University College London (UCL), it was found that 86% of headteachers were unhappy with these tests. They were described as “totally unnecessary”, “utter nonsense” and “inappropriate”.

The study’s author, Dr Alice Bradbury had this to say:

“Overall, the headteachers’ views on baseline [assessments] were largely negative, with even those who had some sympathy with the principle of assessing progress often expressing some concerns”

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