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ERIC Number: EJ1150480
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Aug
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0141-1926
Primary Schools and Network Governance: A Policy Analysis of Reception Baseline Assessment
Roberts-Holmes, Guy; Bradbury, Alice
British Educational Research Journal, v43 n4 p671-682 Aug 2017
Primary school reception baseline assessment was designed to produce a single "baseline" data figure on the basis of which young children's progress across primary school could be measured and accounted for. This paper suggests that within the context of punitive performativity, head teachers might be considered "irresponsible" if not engaging with the new accountability measure in its voluntary year. Using DfE-accredited baseline assessment providers blurred the distinctions between not-for-profit social enterprises, digital policy innovation labs, edu-business, and the state. It is argued that through a process of networked governance, these cross-sectoral organisations successfully enticed some primary schools with the "moral economy" of using baseline assessment. It is argued that baseline's simplistic reductionism allowed for the economisation of early years education assessment and for its commercialisation of comparison. This paper reports on a sample of five head teachers, taken from a much larger study that used a mixed-methods approach involving a nationwide survey (n = 1131) and in-depth interviews with reception staff and head teachers in five geographically disparate primary schools. Baseline assessment was "withdrawn" by the DfE in April 2016, quite possibly because of campaigns by early years organisations, the government's own report showing that the three separate baseline datasets were incompatible, and national research funded by the teachers' unions, a small part of which is reported upon here.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A