Experts join forces to shape the future of assessment

Wednesday 7 Jan 2015

Education charity AQA has today announced a working group of senior education experts to team up with its own in-house team to shape the future of assessment.

The announcement of the group comes as the latest phase of AQA's major two-year project The future of assessment: 2025 and beyond - a conversation to consider the big questions and issues that will shape how assessment evolves over the next decade and beyond.

The group will develop policies the next government could implement and will work alongside AQA's Centre for Education Research and Practice. They are:

  • Dr Ayesha Ahmed, Research Associate, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Anton Beguin, Director of Research and Innovation, CERP/Director of the Measurement and Research Department, Cito (Netherlands)
  • Dr Newman Burdett, Head of Centre for International Comparisons, NFER
  • Professor Prue Huddleston, Emeritus Professor, University of Warwick
  • Brian Lightman, General Secretary, ASCL
  • Tom Sherrington, Headteacher, Highbury Grove School, Islington

Speaking about why today's newly-formed group is so important, Brian Lightman, General Secretary of ASCL, said:

"At a time when it has never been more important to realise the highest ambitions for the education of our young people, it is vitally necessary to equip the teaching profession with a deep understanding of the theory and practice of assessment. As well as ensuring that all qualifications are fit for purpose it is essential that full consideration is given to the role of formative and diagnostic assessment in the classroom.

"I am delighted that AQA has convened and invited me to join this group which sets out to articulate a vision for the future of assessment."

The future of assessment has already brought together expert speakers from across the education sector at a series of workshops to develop policy objectives for 2025 under three main themes:

Balancing assessment and accountability

  • Professionalised, expert teacher assessment contributes substantially to students' results
  • School accountability supports improvement and is based on more than exam grades

Assessment for the real world

  • Employers, teachers and assessment experts work together to determine outcomes and standards
  • Credible qualifications demonstrate value through exemplification of skills and evidence of progression

21st century assessment

  • Technology does not replicate paper exams but facilitates new, more valid types of assessment
  • Skills that cannot be assessed summatively are captured "in action" using technology where possible

The expert panel announced today will develop policies the next government could implement in order to achieve these longer-term objectives.

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