Earlier this year Dale Pickles, MD and assessment expert at B Squared, ran a webinar entitled ‘Are you ready for the removal of P Levels?’ It covered the changes to the end of key stage statutory assessment, the impact this will have, how schools will need to change, and an introduction to B Squared’s two new assessment frameworks (developed to run on its Connecting Steps software) in response to the removal of P Levels. Watch it now.
What happened to P Levels?
In May 2018 the Government released the new pre-key stage standards for key stages 1 and 2. The new standards are to replace P Levels and the interim framework for pupils working above P4, but below the level of the end of key stage assessment.
This was the Government’s response to the Rochford Review, which set out the future for statutory assessment for pupils with SEND. “The Rochford Review: Final Report” recommended the removal of P Levels, leaving Headteachers to choose an alternative approach to the assessment of pupils with SEND. From now on the P Levels are no longer in use for statutory assessment for pupils working above P4 (for pupils working below P4 they will be removed from September 2019).
What does it mean for schools?
The new pre-key stage standards are too narrow to be used for ongoing assessment, so schools need to use something in place of P Levels to track ongoing progress. Removing the P Levels means that the common language schools have used for the last 17 years has also been removed, making comparisons of pupils between schools extremely difficult and making meaningful communication between all agencies/stakeholders more complicated.
How do teachers & SENCOs feel about the changes to assessment?
B Squared asked webinar attendees how they felt about the changes in assessment. Feedback ranged from welcoming the freedom and flexibility to choose or create their own appropriate assessment framework, to some customers commenting that they felt “a little daunted,” “anxious” or “confused!” and according to one teacher, “It feels a little bit like going back in time and giving rise to everyone recreating their own wheels!”
Schools should be writing their own curriculum (but not necessarily the assessment framework). If you feel confused about the difference between curriculum and assessment framework, please read this. It takes a lot of time and money to write your own assessment framework. There are assessment systems that allow schools to add their own content. But can existing data be transitioned? And how does it cope with Government changes? Alternatively, teachers devise large Excel spreadsheets which have a number of limitations; they can only be used by one teacher at a time and only when they are in school. They are often not backed up making it hard to roll-back, and the system often requires a large amount of work when pupils arrive and leave and can’t cope very well with curriculum or staff changes.
How B Squared supports teachers and schools with FREE webinars
B Squared is dedicated to keeping its assessment software relevant and supporting schools and their teachers in adapting to changes from the DfE.
Webinars are a great way to share information with a large audience. Attendees are able to gain knowledge in manageable chunks which they can then share later with other staff. Collaborating online with peers and sharing tips is vital to developing best practice. B Squared also use webinars to provide customers with free ongoing training and to share expert knowledge on subjects such as “What is good progress?” The webinars are FREE and are run at 4pm and 7pm to best fit teachers’ busy schedules.
‘It’s brilliant that B Squared keeps up with all the changes and meets the DfE’s latest requirement. It is enormous help for us as we are a very small special school. Thank you!’ Beatrix Szeszak, Headteacher, NICE – Centre for Movement Disorders
How teachers felt after watching the webinar
After the webinar, teachers who attended felt that they had a better understanding of the changes to assessment and were less concerned than they were at the start. Their biggest concern is how they will show progress within the key stage. 36% of respondents said they would be moving away from P Levels, 64% said they were not sure. It was interesting that no one said they would ‘definitely stick’ with P Levels.
Many teachers booked an online meeting to find out more about B Squared’s assessment software Connecting Steps and its two new frameworks to support schools move away from P Levels, the content is based on the new language the DfE is using for pupils with SEND.
- Engagement Steps is a framework to support the learning and assessment of students not yet engaged in subject-specific learning.
- Progression Steps helps teachers to identify and record the on-going achievements of pupils who are working moderately or severely beneath age-related expectations in some or all areas of their development.
If you would like to watch the recording of the “Removal of P Levels” webinar, click here http://bit.ly/2IuPpsX
To find out how you can benefit from the expert knowledge at B Squared and see how the software can benefit your school, you can arrange a FREE online meeting by going to http://bit.ly/2IuWZUr or visit www.bsquared.co.uk
Alternatively give us a call on 01252 870133 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org