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Cognition and Learning Across Education

The Rochford Review

November 2016

The Rochford Review was released this October and NAPCE believes that its recommendations have the potential to support great steps forward across all forms of education in the UK.

The report’s headline suggests the removal of the statutory requirement of assessing pupils using P scales, building upon the removal of levelling. NAPCE sees this as an ideal opportunity for all schools to consider valuing progress in learning outside and alongside academic subjects their data, potentially assisting other outcomes related to pastoral care.

The report comes across as more clear cut for those students who are not engaged in subject-specific learning, suggesting limits on the statutory assessment for pupils. Special needs provisions NAPCE currently work with are already leading the way in assessing pupils’ development in all 4 areas of need outlined in the SEND Code of Practice and in the areas of cognition and learning. The use of models such as SCERTS and the Life Skills frameworksupport an educational practitioner in their own delivery. They are able to address key aspects of whole child development in the present and evidence it as beneficial to the individual’s long-term goals.

For those within mainstream looking to differentiate not just learning but now assessment this could pose an additional burden. Responsiveness, curiosity, discovery, anticipation, persistence, initiation, investigation; the 7 aspects of cognition and learning put forward by Rochford, are worth assessing throughout all of education and therefore bypassing the bias of those with additional needs in NAPCE’s opinion. With the report seeking for ITT and CPD for staff to have a greater understanding of assessing pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests, now appears an ideal opportunity to link in with developing assessment (and delivery) across all learning environments. Perhaps this is something that will grow if stable systems of assessment are first put in place for the early stages of development. Those who doubt such skill sets as being applicable beyond focus areas of study need to be considering the knowledge based economy all students will be entering. One that perhaps requires a skill set flexible and resilient enough to be applied outside of a mastered field, let alone complex relationships.

Without P-levels the report suggests schools need to be able to evidence not to the DfE but to parents and carers, inspectors, regional schools commissioners, local authorities, school governors and those engaged in peer review to ensure robust and effective accountability. How this will be done is not included, but if you are a school that is searching for support in assessment post levels and now beyond p-scales, contact NAPCE for support and/or to be pointed in the direction of schools that can. We see the report as an opportunity to grow our students and our education system.

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