Case study 7 A participatory model of assessment across a network of children’s centres
The case study examines the challenges and benefits for children, parents, practitioners, settings and local authorities of using a participatory child assessment programme for children from birth to three years within a large city in the south - west region of England. It demonstrates how the Accounting Early for Lifelong Learning (AcE) Programme (Bertram, Pascal and Saunders, 2008) was implemented as an authority wide assessment process as part of the city-wide focus on improving child outcomes for all its children and evidencing this progress. The assessment process has enabled a significant shift in the involvement of parents in their children’s learning and is also making progress in ensuring the active voice of the child in the assessment outcomes. This case study also shows how the data from this participatory assessment programme is being used to inform the city’s wider strategic planning process for improving child outcomes within its wider range of early years’ settings. It demonstrates that ethically robust, participatory assessment processes are capable of supporting significant shifts in the quality of practice offered in early childhood settings and have the capacity to evidence this across a large city in a way that informs strategic planning and development.