Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education
I am pleased to announce that regulations regarding the publication of teacher assessment information came into force today. This is the first legislative change emerging from Successful Futures. It also supports a key objective in Our National Mission “in delivering robust assessment, evaluation and accountability arrangements to support a self-improving system.”
International evidence is clear: if we are to raise standards for every learner, then we must ensure we have a coherent assessment and accountability system. Assessment’s prime purpose is to provide information that guide decisions about how best to progress pupils’ learning. Yet, for too long, teacher assessments in Wales have wrongly been part of our accountability system; lines between the two have been blurred which has led to unintended consequences that can get in the way of raising school standards.
The changes that come into force today will ensure we now have a more coherent system. Teacher assessment data and National Reading and Numeracy Test data at a school, local authority and consortia level will no longer be published. This applies to the Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 in all maintained primary and secondary schools. These changes will help shift the focus back to using teacher assessment as a means to inform better teaching and learning. Our future arrangements will have a renewed emphasis on Assessment for Learning as an essential and integral feature of learning and teaching; it is a significant move away from gathering information about young people’s performance on a school-by-school basis for accountability purposes.
Arrangements that will remain
- National Reading and Numeracy Tests and Teacher Assessments for individual learners will continue.
- Headteachers will be required to report school performance to parents and adult learners each school year (parents will still be able to compare their children’s school performance with the national level).
- Governing bodies will be required to produce annual reports to parents, school prospectuses, school development plans, and set performance and absence targets.
- Schools, governing bodies and local authorities will still have access to their own data (alongside national level data) for self-evaluation purposes.
- The Welsh Government will continue to collect individual learner level data to ensure transparency at a national performance level and to inform policy.
Arrangements that will change:
- The reports mentioned above won’t include comparative information about teacher assessments and tests, in relation to other schools within a local authority or ‘family of schools’.
- The Welsh Government will no longer produce or publish School Comparative Reports and All Wales Core Data Sets for schools and local authorities in respect of teacher assessment data (this applies to 2017/18 ‘datapacks’).
- The My Local School website will no longer include teacher assessment data below the national level.
I look forward to updating you about further progress on the delivery of the 4 ‘enabling objectives’ featured in Our National Mission.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.