On the Mark - news from CIEA
November 2016

Using assessments to gain
a whole pupil view

By Alastair Durno, Head of Professional Development Services, GL Assessment

Accurate measurement can sometimes seem quite pedantic and nit-picking, admits Daisy Christodoulou, Head of Assessment at ARK Schools. “But we know from other walks of life that accurate data can be transformative: improvements in measurement brought about by microscopes and stethoscopes in the 19th century led to improvements in healthcare itself, while improvements in the measurements smartphones can make have transformed many people’s lives.
“Spending time ensuring our educational measurements are smart can help us work out what really works in the classroom, and ensure that no pupils are left behind.”
Schools are increasingly turning to evidence-led practice and it’s important to know what has the most impact for the least investment. Good assessment is a critical tool for both these things. But with so much assessment data available, where should schools start?
Philosophy of good assessment practice
GL Assessment has a distinct philosophy that is based on a ‘whole pupil’ approach that examines a pupil’s ability, attainment and attitude to provide a complete understanding of their needs. This enables schools to appreciate pupils’ strengths, identify areas where they might need support and intervention, and remove any obstacles that are impacting negatively on attainment.
The fundamental questions behind the whole pupil view are:
  • What is the pupil’s potential?
  • What is the pupil achieving?
  • Are there any barriers to learning?  
Using assessments that cover ability, attainment and barriers to learning – and, critically, analysing how the different data sets relate to each other – helps professionals to answer these questions and make well-informed decisions about the next steps required. This model is then scalable to a whole class, year group, school or groups of schools.
Read the full article HERE

To find out more about GL Assessment’s ‘whole pupil view’ approach to assessment, join Alastair Durno’s talk for the CIEA at the University of Hertfordshire on 29 November 2016.

New Website and CRM system

You may notice some changes at the CIEA over the coming weeks. We’re excited to let you know about our new CRM system which is being implemented shortly. All members will be asked to register with a new password.

We’d like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but I’m sure you’ll be impressed by the resulting steamlined and easily accessible membership process. Our website is also undergoing changes and will have more interactive content and a new look.


Awarding Bodies

The latest updates on the status of subjects being accredited for teaching from September 2017 were published on October 21.
A transcript of Chief Regulator Sally Collier’s speech to the Federation of Awarding Bodies Conference in Leicester can also be found on the Ofqual website

Qualifications Wales
QW is holding a one-day open forum for Awarding Bodies, providing an opportunity for delegates to participate in thought-provoking workshops, share ideas and feedback on discussed initiatives. The forum will be held in Cardiff on December 13. More info HERE 
AQA has published further information on its decision to stop development work on the new AS and A-level qualifications in Archaeology, Classical Civilisation, History of Art and Statistics. More info HERE


Members spot

Name: Leroy John

How long have you been a member of CIEA and what is the level of your membership?
I registered as an Associate member of CIEA in 2012.
What is your role, and why are you doing it?
Currently working as a Mathematics coach; supporting teachers and students at a West Midlands secondary school, I am also a part-time student at Warwick University.  I am studying for the Masters-level modular degree in Educational Assessment which also leads to accreditation for Chartered Educational Assessor (CEA). To achieve CEA status, an essential requirement is membership of the CIEA. My current role provides the scope to be a part-time researcher whilst continuing to actively contribute to teaching and learning.
How long have you been in this role?
I have been in my current coaching role since January 2015. However, with over two decades of teaching in schools; grammar and comprehensive, inclusive of middle leadership responsibility, Educational Assessment has remained a domain of particular interest in my dual subject areas of Computing and Mathematics.
CIEA membership consolidates my intrinsic interest in the field of Educational Assessment, and is also the avenue for cross-curricular insights, national strategy updates, and global perspectives. CIEA membership typifies essential professional learning in my chosen specialism – Educational Assessment.
Read the fully article here 

Would you like to feature in our 60-second interview slot? Members Spot is a chance to introduce yourself to CIEA colleagues and to share your views about the assessment and qualifications system. Please email if you would like to take part.

Lecture series success

Our first two autumn lectures celebrating the University of Hertfordshire as the new home of the CIEA were well received by local schools, students and staff of the University of Hertfordshire. The first lectures are now available to view on-line (see links below).

The next guest speakers in the series are Michael Walker, Alistair Durno and Isabel Nisbet.

  • 01 November 17:30 – 18:30: Michael Walker - The importance of a school-based curriculum and assessment framework
  • 29 November 17:30 – 18:30: Alistair Durno - The whole pupil view: the power of data triangulation
  • 25 January 17:30 – 18:30: Isabel Nisbet - Chinese lessons: what can we really learn from PISA results
Please email for more details or to register your place.

Lectures available to view on-line
Our first speaker, Jan Dubiel - a highly regarded national speaker and the National Development Manager of Early Excellence - gave an informative and insightful look at the world of Early Years education on 04 October. Focussing on changes to national Early Years assessment and what the future might hold, challenges of assessment and accountability in the EYFS and the key principles of effective assessment, Jan also entertained us with the meaning of “Ukfundisa” and the story of the bee snake!
See the full lecture HERE

Professor Dame Alison Peacock, Executive Head of Wroxham School, newly appointed CEO of the Chartered College of Teaching, author and educational specialist, inspired the audience with anecdotes and wise words surrounding her philosophy for learning without limits at her lecture on 18 October. We learned of the key elements of learning without limits; trust, co-agency and inclusion all brought to life by the rich stories of the pupils of Wroxham School and their achievements. Find out more about Alice, the violinist and the little girl who was given the educational freedom to succeed to become young engineer of the year.
See the full lecture HERE  

OLM training course

Oral Language Modifier course 
01 December 2016
University of Hertfordshire

Cost £160 per delegate

Register your place by emailing Nicky Bright on

This course is for anyone who wants to be able to act as an Oral Language Modifier in examinations. The JCQ regulations state:
An Oral Language Modifier should have:
  • undertaken accredited training;
  • a working knowledge of grammatical structures;
  • an understanding of the impact of command words and an examiner’s expectations of a candidate’s answer.’
This course will equip delegates to:
  • understand the issues involved
  • support candidates appropriately without either advantaging or disadvantaging them
  • ensure that the demands of the question are not compromised in terms of subject and technical knowledge.
If you would like to find out more about in-house OLM courses or on-line training email

Events Calendar

Next steps for reforming primary education: effective teaching practices, assessment and accountability


18 January 2017  Central London


CPD certified

This timely seminar will assess reforms to primary education focusing on teaching, assessment and accountability at primary level. Guest of Honour: Dame Reena Keeble, Chair, Review of Effective Primary Teaching Practice, Teaching Schools Council. Booking details

Job Vacancies

The National Federation for Educational Research (NFER)  is looking for markers for Key Stage 4 National Reference Tests (NRTs). Applications will be accepted until November 30. Find this and other vacancies on our website

Resources Spot

Teachers Undefeated: How global education reform has failed to crush the spirit of educators
by Jon Berry

Jon Berry explains how the political and economic circumstances of the past 40 years play out in our classrooms on a daily basis. He discusses possibilities for collective resistance to policies that reduce the enjoyment of learning to a succession of test rehearsals and exam preparation.
This is a book for serving teachers, those about to enter the profession, parents and anyone interested in preserving a rounded education for our children.
Teachers Undefeated is available now via Amazon. To order multiple copies, contact the author at​

Advertise here!
Connect with the assessment and educational community.
For more information contact
Ali McCree


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