The Independent Assessment Commission (IAC) has published its Interim Report considering the future of exams in England.
The IAC, which reflects the growing and broad coalition advocating change, has concluded that there is an overwhelming case for changing the current system of assessment and that the time to begin that process is now. They say that the current system:
- Is not fit for the future;
- Is not sufficiently reliable, authentic or fair;
- Does not support high standards of education for all;
- Undermines student and teacher mental health
In looking at what change looks like the IAC has developed 5 ‘New ERA principles’.
Principle 1: Qualifications and assessment should serve the individual. They should provide information to all young people, their parents/carers and users of qualifications about the knowledge, skills and competencies young people have to allow them to flourish, to participate in the community, and to make good progress in the next stage of their lives, in employment, college or university.
Principle 2: Qualifications and assessment should be recognised to be part of a wider education system including curriculum, pedagogy and accountability. Care should be taken to ensure that approaches to accountability do not distort qualifications.
Principle 3: Qualifications and assessment should serve the future needs of society, culture and the economy to enable the nation and young people to thrive in less predictable times socially and economically, nationally and internationally.
Principle 4: Qualifications and assessment should be inclusive both in purpose and in the design and development of the system.
Principle 5: Qualifications and assessment should support progression for all young people, but should not exist only to act as a mechanism for determining the next examination or selection.
The New ERA Principles are intended to stimulate a national conversation. This national conversation should inform the design of an assessment and qualifications system that will most effectively position England to respond positively, creatively and sustainably to the personal, social and economic opportunities and challenges posed by our rapidly changing society.