The mismeasurement of learning


Our new pamphlet The Mismeasurement of Learning focuses on primary assessment. It describes an assessment system which gives poor feedback on children’s learning and is damaging their well-being.

The situation was brought to a point of crisis this year because of unrealistic demands which are inappropriate to the age of the child. The tests are not fit for purpose, and causing enormous stress for children and their teachers.

The 16 short chapters cover different tests and aspects of assessment. There are chapters about phonics, reading and maths, and how the curriculum is being narrowed by practising for tests.

Other chapters describe

  • the emotional damage caused by premature targets in early learning
  • limited time for creative arts
  • the impact on children growing up in poverty
  • the problem with ability grouping
  • the situation in Wales, and
  • the link with secondary exams.

Several chapters are devoted to the origins of our current accountability system, the distortions of ‘datafication’, and possible alternatives.

You can download the whole booklet by clicking here

You can also order multiple copies free of charge for union branches, workplaces and events – just email

This pamphlet is essential reading as the More Than a Score campaign gets going.


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