baseline assessment

Quick Reference

The instrument for collecting baseline data and the method used by teachers to find out a pupil's learning needs, their natural ability, and potential. Tests are given to pupils across an entire year group to establish where each pupil is in relation to a national and institutional norm. The purpose of baseline assessment is to establish a point from which future measurements and predictions can be calculated. The assessments are not standardized, and different formats may be used in different schools. These tests, such as Cognitive Abilities Tests, are used to generate a predicted or expected level of achievement for future performance, for example at General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) level. They can also function to highlight specific issues such as whether a pupil should be placed on the gifted and talented register, or whether they are underachieving in relation to their potential. Teachers can use baseline data to plan effectively for each pupil's learning needs and, for this reason, baseline assessments are usually carried out throughout a pupil's schooling, often starting within six weeks of their entering full‐time education. Baseline assessment can also be used on a whole‐school level to measure the quality of education which the school is providing, by comparing a pupil's performance with their baseline assessment. The results of baseline assessments are formally registered. The baseline data that are generated form part of each pupil's school records. Subsequent data are then added to this, such as the results of Standard Tasks and GCSE results. Baselines should be both reliable and valid to enable statistical validity.

I. F. W.

Isabella Wallace

Subjects: Education.

Reference entries