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Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education

First published:
14 November 2017
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

In line with this government’s vision for an education accountability system that is fair, coherent, proportionate and transparent, I am today launching a formal consultation on new regulations related to the routine publication of teacher assessment and test data.

As set out in our action plan ‘Education in Wales: Our National Mission’, we will publish a new over-arching assessment and evaluation framework for the education system during autumn 2018, and this will be evaluated and tested in schools

International evidence, and the message within Wales, is clear. We must ensure a coherent approach that avoids unintended consequences and contributes towards the raising of standards in every classroom and for all our learners.

Ensuring coherence was a key finding in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) rapid policy assessment “The Welsh Education Reform Journey”. One of the report’s recommendations was the need for Wales to move towards a new system of assessment, evaluation and accountability that aligns with the new 21st century curriculum.

In July I made a statement outlining my intentions around assessment for learning where I highlighted that currently teacher assessments also form part of our accountability system and the lines between the two have too often been blurred, leading to unintended consequences in the classroom.  

I announced that a consultation was to take place on the collection and use of teacher assessment and tests data including a proposal to cease the publication of teacher assessment and National Reading and Numeracy test data below the national level from 2018 onwards.Following on from Education in Wales: our national mission, I  can today confirm that we are  launching a formal consultation on new regulations in preparation to end the routine publication of teacher assessment and test data allowing more focus to be placed on schools’ self-evaluations.  Schools, governing bodies and local authorities would continue to have access to their own data alongside national level data to evaluate how well their school(s) is performing and to inform their planning.

The proposed amending Regulations remove statutory requirements currently placed on organisations, such as schools and governing bodies, to use teacher assessment and test data in their planning and reporting processes. As I have set out previously, assessment should be focused on the primary purpose of providing information that can guide decisions about how best to progress young people’s learning and to report to their parents and carers on that progress. When assessment is used for learning purposes, it means that teaching is always adaptive, specific to the learner and supports raising standards for all.

The consultation, which can be accessed following the link below, seeks views from the public as to whether the proposed Regulations help progress our aims to refocus assessment on learning.

The consultation will close on 30th January.  I encourage everyone involved in the sector to participate.