News story

Statement from Schools Minister Nick Gibb on single level test pilot

Nick Gibb announces the end of the single level test pilot scheme and thanks those involved.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Schools Minister Nick Gibb today said the pilot of single level tests was ending after three years of trials.

Mr Gibb said:

The pilot has run for three years and that has allowed us to gain a sufficient amount of evidence about single level tests that we do not need to continue the trials any further. This evidence, including evaluations of the pilot, will feed into the forthcoming review of assessment in primary schools.

The Coalition Government is committed to external assessment and a testing system that is robust, accurate and rigorous, gives parents and professionals the valuable information they need to gauge standards of our primary schools and their pupils, and plays a vital role in accountability.

I would like to thank all pupils, schools and local authorities who have taken part in the pilot for their hard work over the last three years.

Single level tests were developed in English reading, English writing and mathematics for pupils in Years 3 to 6. They are designed to assess knowledge, skills and understanding at a specific, single National Curriculum level (level 3, 4, 5 or 6). Teachers enter pupils for a test in December or June, when they judge that the pupil is ready, rather than waiting until the end of Key Stage 2. The pilot began in September 2007.

The 10 local authorities involved in the pilot are: Westminster, Bexley, Solihull, Liverpool, Calderdale, South Tyneside, East Sussex, Leicestershire, Essex and Gloucestershire. Each local authority has a pilot leader to evaluate, support and advise schools on all aspects of the single level tests.

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Published 7 September 2010