NAHT is working with the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors (CIEA) to encourage every school to have a lead assessor

Years of unnecessarily high-stakes external tests and exams have narrowed curriculum delivery and opportunities for children and young people. Alongside this, there have been limited professional development opportunities for teachers to enhance their skills in assessment and collaborate with others.

NAHT is working with the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors (CIEA) to encourage every school to have a lead assessor and ensure members, and the appropriate staff in their schools, can access the training provided by CIEA.

Following the Report of the Assessment Reform Group, NAHT’s current policy position is that ‘all those responsible for children’s learning should undertake rigorous training in formative, diagnostic and summative assessment. The government should provide support and resources for the development of independently accredited training for school assessment leads.’

As professionals, we are all aware of the importance of the need for high quality, rigorous and accurate assessment. We are expected to be the experts in this field and often we are but the opportunities for training to increase confidence, knowledge and skills are limited.

Interestingly the government in the past has questioned our ability to assess accurately but has never offer support or training to the many thousands of teachers and leaders carrying out this role on a daily basis.

It is now time for the government to stop criticising and start supporting by providing funding for the development of independently-accredited training for lead assessors in every school.

This opportunity is afforded to all schools in Northern Ireland through the Charter Institute of Educational Assessors and should be available for all schools in England and Wales too.

CIEA was set up to improve standards in educational assessment. They support assessors by providing specialist, high quality training for individuals and organisations. They also provide accreditation for individuals against an assessment framework, with a clear progression route for those who meet the professional standards.

NAHT’s Assessment and Accountability Group has met with CIEA on a number of occasions and see real value in continuing to work with them, to develop assessors in all schools who will provide leadership in establishing robust assessment practices and processes.

We know that ongoing, high quality assessment is at the heart of effective teaching and learning and however experienced we are in assessing our children, we know that there is always something to learn. Working alongside CIEA, would provide us with the professional development we need to challenge the government’s view once and for all.

If the government truly believes that assessment is the key to success for all of our children, then a promise of adequate support and resources for this training and development opportunity would surely be the obvious way forward.

Find out more about the NAHT/CIEA Lead Assessor Support Programme here.

Written by: Amanda Hulme, Headteacher at Claypool Primary School, Chair of the Assessment and Accountability Group and NAHT National Executive Member 

Published on: 26 May 2022