Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at the Education Secretary’s comments about tackling poor behaviour in schools and the Reception Baseline Assessment.
Yesterday, Monday 2 September, the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson visited a school in Bromley where he spoke about how the government is backing teachers to tackle poor behaviour and bullying in schools. This was covered by the Times and the Telegraph.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
Any head teacher who makes the decision to either suspend or expel a pupil because they need to do it in order to be able to enforce proper and full discipline in their school, and making sure that they’re protecting the whole interests of the school, will always have my backing.
We have empowered them to make that judgment. We have empowered them to make sure that they protect the interests of all the children in that school. That’s what I will always and consistently do.
If we’re not able to ensure the very highest standards, and make sure that there is proper discipline going through these schools, then actually you’re capturing those children into a cycle where they’re not going to be able to achieve their best.
Reception Baseline Assessment
Today, Tuesday 3 September, the campaign group More Than A Score has issued a press release saying that headteachers have criticised the Reception Baseline Assessment. The story has received coverage in the Independent and the Guardian.
It is important to note that the introduction of the reception baseline will mean that statutory assessments at the end of year 2 will be removed, lessening the assessment burden on pupils and lightening teacher workload.
It is also important to point out that contrary to some criticisms, there is no age bias in the assessment. Pupils who are 4 and pupils who are 5 will not be compared with each other – it is about the progress they make 7 years later that is important.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
The reception baseline assessment is a quick check of a child's early language and ability to count when they start school to help inform teachers - nine in ten schools already carry out on-entry checks.
We are confident that the Reception Baseline Assessment will lighten the load for schools, which will no longer have to carry out whole-class assessments at the end of year 2 or deal with the test papers and administration that comes with that, while also being stress-free for children.
We have been listening carefully to feedback we have received throughout the development process to ensure we get the experience right for pupils and schools.