A recent Teacher Tapp survey shows that one in six teachers spent at least two hours at the weekend marking in October. That doesn’t only grab precious time from family but it also affects wellbeing, as new research by Professor John Jerrim demonstrates. It also doesn’t always help students.
Rather worryingly, it’s also clear that teachers do not feel confident about their assessment expertise. While many of us agree assessment is a critical tool in every teacher’s repertoire, sadly only one third of classroom teachers feel 'very confident' when it comes to assessment and only one in five know where to find information on it.
This is happening at a time when teachers are trying to understand the widely differing impact of the disruption on pupils and, at the same time, need to tailor their practices to fit their students in ever-changing settings.
Assessment becomes even more important to ensure teachers and students identify the most appropriate next steps in order to make progress.
There is a clear need to give teachers space and support to reflect on their current assessment practices and develop improvement and innovation. That’s not just my opinion. That’s the opinion of teachers, too. Nine out of ten say it is important that their school allows them the flexibility and autonomy to run their classroom how they want.
It is against this backdrop, that today we’re launching Making Waves: A better future for assessment. It’s a rich source of innovative ideas on how assessment can improve learning. In a summer where assessment has repeatedly hit the headlines, it’s timely that this project - two years in the making and focused on the issues of teacher workload and expertise - is being published.
At a time when the future of assessment is being considered more broadly, the report highlights the need for teachers to be given the autonomy to innovate around assessment practice and build their confidence. The report provides teachers and schools with the tools to achieve this.
Pearson has had the pleasure of working with The Centre for Youth and Education on this project, and we believe the results demonstrate that teachers can take action to take control and build a better future for assessment.
We need to set teachers free by equipping them with the professional expertise to innovate responsibly – whatever their setting. As an awarding body and education content provider, assessment and teacher workload and wellbeing are very close to the heart of Pearson. It’s why we have supported Making Waves, and it’s also why we see this report as the first element of a broader debate we will be facilitating about the future of assessment.