Steve Kenning, Aspirations CEO, joins leading experts in call for a Digital Learner Profile to replace exams & transform assessment
“Exams are not the fairest way to assess the performance of all students. They inhibit social mobility and they are no longer an appropriate means of assessment in the 21st century.”
Steve Kenning, CEO of Aspirations Academies Trust, has added his signature & voice to calls for a Digital Learner Profile, an initiative launched by Rethinking Assessment.
Read why here:
Leading educators, employers and policy experts sign statement calling for a new approach
Digital learner profile can widen the curriculum and better reflect young people’s achievements
New approach will give employers better information on the skills and achievements of learners
The way we assess our young people is “too narrow”, causes “an increase in stress” and labels a third of young people as failures.
A group of leading educators, employers, policy experts, academics and politicians have released a joint statement calling for the adoption of a digital learner profile which will better reflect young people’s achievements and give their future employers more relevant information about their skills.
The statement, signed by two former education secretaries, several leading academy trusts, local authorities and a number of education charities, argues that what is currently assessed is “too narrow, predominantly focused on subject knowledge in individual disciplines.”
It claims that the way learning is assessed is also “too narrow, largely in high stakes written exams at a fixed time regardless of students’ age or readiness.”
The signatories note that as a result, “a third of young people, mostly from disadvantaged backgrounds, are labelled failures. There is an increase in stress and the curriculum is shrunk in the race to succeed in these exams.”
The statement outlines a better alternative: a digital learner profile that will “include evidence of what a young person can do, what they have achieved, the story of their learning and of a portfolio of their best work.”
Unlocking a better assessment system with a new Learner Profile
We believe that our current assessment system is flawed.
What is assessed is too narrow, predominantly focused on subject knowledge in individual disciplines.
The way in which learning is assessed is also too narrow, largely in high stakes written exams at a fixed time regardless of students’ age or readiness.
The result is that a third of young people, mostly from disadvantaged backgrounds, are labelled failures. There is an increase in stress and the curriculum is shrunk in the race to succeed in these exams.
We believe that we need to broaden what is assessed, and how we assess it.
We need to recognise and evidence the full range of strengths of every young person.
We believe that this can be best achieved by using a variety of modes of assessment, not just written exams.
We believe that a powerful way of achieving this is for every young person to compile a learner profile while at school, which can be added to beyond school.
This will be put together during their 14-year learning journey, and be particularly useful at moments of transition. It will be used by colleges, universities and employers as a better way of getting a rounded picture of a young person – an end of school profile that goes way beyond a set of exam numbers and letters. The profile will include evidence of what a young person can do, including qualifications, what they have achieved, the story of their learning, and a portfolio of their best work.
Rethinking Assessment’s draft learner profile is now out for consultation and employers, colleges and universities are collaborating with us to make it as effective as possible.