Rochford Review

31 March 2017

Commenting on the consultation announced yesterday by the Department for Education on the final recommendations of the Rochford Review, about statutory assessment for pupils working below the standard of the national curriculum tests, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The Government has put out two important consultations this week. Teachers now have 12 weeks to consider and comment on the changes proposed.

“The Rochford Review made a number of detailed recommendations last autumn. The NUT will respond in full to the Government’s consultations on the next steps. We will draw on members’ experience and insight about what how best to develop modes of assessment that are appropriate to children’s development. We will consult widely about the removal of P-scales, in the light of the alternatives suggested by the Review, and about how transition to a new approach could be manageable and clear.

“We all want an assessment system in which teachers are encouraged and supported to think inventively about children’s learning, in its very widest sense, and how to best support it. Teachers have questions about whose judgement will count when deciding which pupils should be engaged in subject specific learning. We must also avoid setting expectations about attainment or progress which fit some groups of children but not others.

“The recommendations about enhancing initial teacher education are important. We need an ITE system where teachers entering the profession from all routes have high quality initial education about meeting the unique needs of each child.

“Collaborative arrangements are not only limited to multi-academy trusts, as the Review suggests. There are many groups, clusters of schools, federations and other innovative arrangements collaborating and generating new learning. Valuing the place of moderation and CPD more systematically is important. As the Review recommendations move forward, we must utilise the huge expertise to be found in the teachers working in special schools.

“Teachers and schools need the opportunity to work in partnership with higher education institutions. Teachers would welcome clearer entitlements for access to high quality CPD around assessment which supports children in their learning and enables teachers to identify different and inclusive ways to meet learning needs.”

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