DfE’s performance descriptors – panel of consultants revealed

The names of the 10 experts who drafted the new teacher assessment “performance descriptors” have been released after a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request.

A report launched for consultation by the Department for Education (DfE) in October sought views on the “practical use and implementation” of new statutory teacher assessment performance descriptors, designed to assess pupils at the end of key stages 1 and 2, once pupils have been taught the new programmes of study for two years.

The consultation document stated that the performance descriptors had been “drafted with experts, including teachers, representatives from Local authorities, curriculum and subject experts”

However, in response to an FOI request of November 24, the DfE released the names of the panel who created the descriptors (see list, below). None of the panel is a serving teacher; the majority are educational consultants.

Speaking on the reasons for the appointments, a DfE spokesperson said: “We used subject and assessment experts . . . who had the time to devote to the drafting process and were experienced in supporting the delivery of national assessment policy.

“During the drafting phase, we spoke to groups of serving teachers and local authorities who reviewed drafts and we’re now getting the valuable insight of a wider group of serving teachers and school leaders by consulting on the draft descriptors.”

Trials of the descriptors are also due to start in some schools next summer.

Views on the assessment can be submitted to www.education.gov.uk until December 18. The response on the consultation will be published in late February next year. Final performance descriptors will be published in autumn next year.

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