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More than a Score launches baseline report

By Rachel Lawler

The More than a Score campaign has launched a dossier, criticising the government’s current plans to introduce a baseline assessment for four-year-olds.
 
Baseline: it doesn’t add up argues that the plans are uninformed and potentially harmful for children. It says that that the £10 million scheme is “pointless and damaging”.
 
Campaign launch
Shadow early years minister Tracy Brabin hosted a meeting at Westminster to launch the report. She said: “I believe that children learn through play and creativity, not just through examinations, that’s why it’s great [that] More Than a Score is leading on this important work.”
 
Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, added: “The government could do far more for children’s education by lifting them out of poverty, than by spending £10 million on tests in which few education experts have any confidence.”
 
Previous problems
Baseline assessments were originally introduced in 2015/16 and were set to replace the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Profile. This policy was later dropped after concerns that the three different testing systems being used produced different results from the same children.
 
However, in September 2017 the government announced plans to reintroduce the baseline assessment and reduce the scope of the EYFS Profile. It intends to run a pilot scheme and evaluation in 2019/2020 ahead of a national roll-out in 2020.
 
The More than a Score campaign now aims to share its message with parents and schools ahead of the scheme’s pilot and national roll-out.
 
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