This summer has provoked many questions around assessment, including fairness and equity for young people from our education system, and assessment remains high on the agenda. Against this backdrop we are looking at the longer-term role of assessment in schools.
Our project intends to take a longer view than simply responding to this summer’s events or looking ahead to next year’s exam series. We will go back to first principles, considering the function and purpose of Key Stages 4 and 5 – which at present are the defining and critical points of a young person’s education. We know how vital this juncture is for young people, taking the first set of decisions relating to their education that will affect their lives for decades to come.
The first phase of the project begins with a major consultation with the education sector, employers, parents and, most importantly, with young people to gather their views on a range of questions around each of these issues. The feedback will inform the second phase of this work which will include independently-commissioned research. The research will also run alongside and inform our ongoing work with schools next year as we test and iterate new approaches in these areas. Our project will also be supported by an external steering group of experts from across education, academia and politics.
The UK's education system is widely respected. Our curriculum, qualifications, and assessment are recognised, valued, and adopted by countries around the world. That is the starting point for this work, and we hope this project will not just contribute to the debate but shape the evolution of the system and maintain this standing.
• January 2021 – public consultation launched
• Spring 2021 – interim findings
• Spring/summer 2021 – independent research
• Late summer/autumn 2021 – final report published