DfE names new 'without levels' assessment commission

Department for Education announces members for commission on new ways to assess pupil ability

Parliament TV

By Jacqueline Tenreiro

10 Mar 2015

The Department for Education has unveiled the membership of a new teacher-led commission aiming to improve the way that school pupils' abilities are assessed.

The 'Assessment without levels commission' was announced by schools minister Nick Gibb last month. Its remit is to devise models by which primary and secondary schools can assess pupil ability without levels, which were introduced to the British education system in 1988, but which are due to be scrapped in September. The DfE has described the existing system as "complicated, vague and unambitious".

The committee's membership will consist of Shahed Ahmed OBE, Daisy Christodoulou, Professor Robert Coe, Sam Freedman, Mark Neild, Natalie Packer and Dame Alison Peacock. John McIntosh CBE, former headmaster of the London Oratory School, has already been announced as the commission’s chairman. 

Ahmed, Neild and Packer are currently headteachers at their institutions, Elmhurst Primary School, Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form and The Wroxham Teaching School, respectively.

Christodoulou is an author and research and development manager for the Ark charity, while Coe is a professor at Durham University and director of the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring.

Freedman works at Teach First as director of research, evaluation and impact and Packer is a consultant for both special educational needs and Nasen.

The Department for Education said the commission's members would "highlight the great work that is already being done in many schools" and "help to foster innovation and success in assessment practice more widely".

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