A four-year upper secondary phase, a baccalaureate-style award, a stage not age approach – now is the time to rethink our assessment system says Elena Wilson. She sets out her case and considers some examples that schools can build on...

Last year’s assessment fiasco and the cancellation of exams for the second year in a row has thrown our assessment system under the public spotlight in a way that has not happened since the Tomlinson Review in the mid-2000s.

If ever there was a time to look again at fundamental reform, surely it must be now.

At the Edge Foundation, we believe that a broad and balanced education and assessment system should equip young people with the skills and knowledge they need to reach their full potential.

But up to now, exams have dominated our entire education system, influencing what is taught and how it is taught. Even before the pandemic, many young people found the exam system increasingly stressful and not a true reflection of what they can do.

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