chapter  7
15 Pages

Assessment Issues and the National Curriculum II: Baseline Assessment

There has been increasing interest over the last few years in establishing some kind of baseline assessment on entry to school at age 5. Baseline assessment is only the latest in a long line of assessments that have been introduced into education during the last decade, most of which can be traced back to the early 1980s, when the escalating costs of education in many areas of the world came under increased scrutiny and there were calls for greater accountability (Carr and Claxton, 1989). In the United Kingdom, this led to the introduction of the National Curriculum, and its associated assessment procedures, which were established by the wide ranging powers ofthe Education Reform Act (1988).1t has been argued (Hargreaves, 1989) that the whole thrust of educational reform in the 1980s was driven not by curriculum or pedagogy, but assessment, which became 'the prime focal point for educational change'.