Assessment and testing policies in England continue to have a significant impact on the working lives of teachers and the learning experiences of pupils.

Teachers have identified assessment as one of the most significant drivers of excessive teacher workload and many practices do not provide effective assistance to pupils’ learning.

The NASUWT’s position on assessment recognises that it is critical to effective approaches to teaching and learning.

The forms that assessment takes, the uses to which assessment data is put and the context within which assessment is undertaken are therefore critical aspects of educational policy and practice at national, local and school level.

Assessment in school takes a number of different forms and serves a number of distinct purposes.

Assessment should be used by teachers to enable them to form valid and reliable judgements of pupils’ progress for the development of the curriculum.

Data from assessment has also become an integral feature of how schools and the education system as a whole are held to account for their performance.

In England, the publication of statutory assessment results in league tables, the results of general qualifications and school inspection all contribute to national and local judgements of school effectiveness.

However, the NASUWT also recognises that approaches to assessment at school, local and national levels have to be proportionate and not dominate teachers’ working time to an extent that they are unable to concentrate on teaching and learning.

Areas that teachers continue to identify as important relate not only to statutory assessments but also to schools’ internal arrangements for identifying and tracking pupils’ progress and achievement.

In particular, teachers and school leaders continue to identify Assessment Without Levels (AWL), marking, National Curriculum tests (SATs), the use of data and pupil tracking as key current concerns.

For further information on these and other issues, please use the links on this page on the right/below.