Assessment when ready failing pupils?

The Guardian is reporting that Single Level Tests, the replacement for the controversial Sats exams which have been piloted over the last eighteen months, are plagued with ‘substantial and fundamental’ problems.  The exams, which allow pupils to take the exams ‘when ready’ at any age between seven and fourteen as part of the larger personalisation agenda, produced what the Guardian calls ‘extraordinary results’, with primary school pupils consistently outperforming those in secondary school in certain areas.

This variation in performance across age groups is explained by the fact that the tests themselves are based on the primary school curriculum, which younger pupils have freshly been taught while older pupils have forgotten much by the time they sit the tests.  This is a fundamental flaw in these tests which raises a number of questions around the area of assessment when ready and assessment on demand; it is ironic that a system intended to recognise individual needs and abilities could actually undermine individual performance.

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