Setting the assessment agenda

02 March 2007

A group of 50 headteachers from across the UK gathered in Cambridge to tackle some of the key issues concerning the future of assessment. They sought, and found, common ground between the teaching profession and exam boards.

The colloquium was facilitated by the Cambridge Assessment Network for the Specialist Schools and Academics Trust (SSAT). Despite work carried out by groups such as the General Teaching Council, the Assessment Reform Group and the DfES, some in the teaching profession still have misgivings about the future direction of assessment. The event aimed to provide an opportunity for headteachers to express their views.

Andrew Watts, Director of the Cambridge Assessment Network, said: "The event was an opportunity to hear school leaders' views on their vision for assessment over the next decade. The areas of discussion included why we assess pupils' learning and performance; the purpose of national tests and assessments; demands currently placed on assessment systems; whether we are assessing the right things; and what are the options for assessment systems in the future."

The colloquium was chaired by leading educationalist, Professor David Hargreaves, Chair of Becta, an Associate Director of the SSAT, a senior Demos Associate and a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He gave the keynote talk at the start and led the ensuing discussions. A presentation was also made by Tim Oates, Group Director, Assessment Research and Development, from Cambridge Assessment.