The problem with and solution to inconsistent assessment policies.
"There are inconsistencies in our assessment policy."
With any new system or method of working it's absolutely vital that you have a strong launch plan and ongoing training for staff. Some schools have found it useful to rewrite their assessment policy, getting all staff involved, to create clarity on what each assessment milestone means. For example, what does 'Emerging' actually mean for a pupil? If you don't know how do you expect your teachers to, or parents for that matter! Having a clear assessment policy will provide you with much more meaningful conversations about pupil progress and give staff more confidence in what they're doing in the classroom every day.
Speak to other schools about what they're doing and learn from each other. You've been given freedom, so use it to make your school a fantastic place for children to learn and develop!
“Before considering any commercially available assessment tool, schools should make sure their policies on assessment have been confirmed. Any product should be evaluated in terms of how well it supports delivery of that policy. Without a robust policy, it will not be possible to determine the suitability of any assessment product, and it will be easy to become distracted by superficially attractive features which might turn out to be unnecessary or inappropriate.”
Final Report of the Commission on Assessment without Levels, September 2015, pages 32-33
Matt is a former teacher and founder of Learning Ladders. He's also Chair of EdTech at the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) and guest speaker at Roehampton University in London.