The Royal Society’s submission to the APPG on Schools, Learning and Assessment

16 March 2023

The Royal Society has responded to the APPG for Schools, Learning and Assessment into assessment reform. 

Our key recommendations are as follows:

  • Reform to the assessment system should contribute to helping students keep options open so that they do not close down future progression prematurely.
  • Any review of the current assessment systems within the UK must look at alternative methods of assessment beyond the traditional high stakes summative exams that the system currently relies on. Discussions across the education sector and beyond have recently explored the possibility of baccalaureate style education, which usually features a range of assessment methods.
  • On-screen assessment has the potential to be fairer, greener, and more inclusive than traditional paper-based exams. However, any inclusion of technology in assessment needs to take into account the availability of resources, the technical infrastructure available in schools and the training needs for pupils and teachers.
  • The Royal Society believes that we cannot have reform to the breadth of study without a fundamental change in the methods, nature and significantly the purpose of assessment, and that none of these things can take place without addressing the problems of the wider secondary education system. A national high-level government review is needed to identify these issues more fully.