logo-education
0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Forgotten your password?

national reference test – help or hindrance?

13 April 2015

The new proposed national reference test (NRT) is intended to provide evidence on changes in performance standards over time. From March 2017 Ofqual will require that sample students from approximately 300 schools will sit tests of under an hour in maths, English language and English literature.

The requirement derives from the Education Reform Act 1988 which introduced the national curriculum and requires that attainment is carefully monitored in order to ensure improvements. However, concern has been raised that the NRT might not be fit for purpose; academics believe that whist it might be a useful general indicator of standards, it will not be an appropriate tool to inform precise GCSE grade boundaries. Unions believe that as the results are only recorded nationally, and not individually, they will not be comparable with GCSEs. Some head teachers have expressed concern that, being scheduled for March, the NRT could interfere with revision programs for summer exams.

At a time when there is evidence of growing mental health issues in students, with exam stress almost certainly making a significant contribution to the figures, there might be a risk that an additional exam could add to the anxiety levels or alternatively, without any individual record it could be seen as another hoop to jump through that is not taken seriously.

related opinions

Home Office Central Registry for modern slavery statement goes live - first universities publish statements

The Home Office recently launched a central registry for modern slavery statements. A growing number of educational organisations, including a number of universities, have published statements on the registry.

View blog

Allegations of abuse in schools, colleges and universities

The website “Everyone’s Invited” is a movement which is “committed to eradicating rape culture” and describes “rape culture” as “all the ways that different forms of aggressive and violent sexual behaviour are normalised, encouraged and even admired by society”. Find out more.

View blog

Lateral flow daily contact testing paused

Following last week’s Guardian article about the concerns over lateral flow daily testing for those identified as having been a close contact of a person testing positive for Covid-19, Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Test and Trace (NHSTT) have published a position statement to recommend that daily contact testing in schools will be paused.

View blog

The lateral flow testing of university students

Guidance for students returning to, and starting higher education, in spring term 2021 requires universities to set a clear expectation that all students should access Covid-19 testing on their return to university.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up