Education Minister cites new STAR Assessments in speech about improving teaching

By Gareth Andrews
Logo for STAR Assessments

STAR Assessments have been cited in a speech by Education minister Elizabeth Truss.

In a speech to Reform on new freedoms for teachers over materials, assessment and professional development, Education Minister Elizabeth Truss cites two schools currently trialling new STAR Assessments.

The minister quoted a speech by Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw at the North of England Education Conference to set the scene:

[We] expect every school to be able to show what their pupils know, understand and can do through continuous assessment and summative tests.

I have never seen a good or outstanding school that doesn’t have summative tests at the end of each year.

[Inspectors] will want to know how often pupils are assessed and what tests are being used. For those schools that struggle to create their own, we can be sure that the market place will come up with good standardised tests for each year group and each subject.

Inspectors will want to see how well the tests are linked to the curriculum and how the results are being used to inform the school about the quality of teaching and the progress of children.

The minister then continued by citing STAR Assessments as an example of schools using their new freedoms to good effect.

We know that many schools are already leading the way.

[Like] Taunton Academy who use Renaissance Learning’s [STAR] tests – which the head, Andrew Otty, describes as ‘excellent and logical’.

Anthony Wilson, who is headteacher at Sir William Burrough Primary School, said that these tests were ‘the most precise analytical tool that we have ever seen […] showing the development of children’s English comprehension skills’.

[…] These schools have gained a much better grasp of pupils’ progress.

They’ve showed it’s straightforward.

And it’s great to see them taking advantage of their freedoms. And no doubt these and other organisations will develop tests based on the new curriculum.

Learn more about new STAR Assessments and Learning Progressions.

Read Elizabth Truss’s speech in full.

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