Published on: 23 Mar 2015

March 2015: GL Assessment wins Early Years Award for Baseline at ERA 2015

GL Assessment’s Baseline assessment has won a prestigious Education Resources Award (ERA) 2015 in the Early Years – including ICT category.

The accolade, presented on Friday 20 March at The National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, recognises the quality and innovative nature of Baseline, a tool which helps teachers assess the literacy, language and numeracy abilities of four and five year olds as they start Reception.

The ERA judges, an independent panel of experienced educational professionals, most of whom are classroom teachers, reported that: “As baseline assessment is a new requirement for schools, GL Assessment’s resource uses an innovative approach of partnering tablet technology to assess young children in a friendly and non-pressurised environment.” The awards are organised by BESA, the trade association representing educational suppliers in the UK sector, and Brilliant Marketing.

ERA 2015 acceptance

Caroline Wright, director at BESA, comments: “What makes these awards different is that they focus on the resources, services and people that really make an impact on learning and the day-to-day work of the teachers in the classroom. The UK education sector is currently in the unprecedented position of offering ever improving standards of excellence. Thousands of educators from across the world visit the UK each year to review and buy products from our suppliers because of the quality offered. We would like to congratulate GL Assessment for the quality and success of Baseline.”

Greg Watson, Chief Executive of GL Assessment, says: “We are delighted that GL Assessment’s Baseline has won an Education Resources Award. Although the reception baseline is a government initiative, we think schools can make the most of its introduction by using an assessment that gives teachers information they will find useful, while ensuring that the process remains enjoyable for pupils.

“Baseline was trialled with 1,560 pupils last year and the schools involved in the pilot have given us very positive feedback on the tablet format.”

GL Assessment’s Baseline uses a unique tablet-to-tablet format.  The child holds one tablet, sees colourful illustrations and hears a friendly voice from the tablet asking questions. The other tablet is held by the teacher or teaching assistant who controls the progression of the questions, or can repeat them. They then simply record the child’s answers online, without needing to spend time writing up results as the scoring is done automatically. 

Rhys Penny, Foundation Stage Leader, Cedar Road Primary School, who took part in the Baseline trials said: “The children ask, ‘When is it my turn?’ and ‘Do I get to do that?’. You don’t get that kind of response with other assessments. Also, working from tablet to tablet means you can watch a child’s ‘thinking head’. By not spending time scribbling, you are able to focus totally on individual children and ensure no one gets ‘lost’.”

Lianne Morrison, Head of Early Years Foundation Stage at St Christopher’s School, who also took part in the trials, added: “Baseline is an accurate and comprehensive measure, delivered in a way that totally engages the children. I’m actually looking forward to re-testing at the end of the year.”

A key advantage of using Baseline is that it supports a complete commitment to progress – from individual pupil to a cluster of schools. Based on a pupil’s results, teachers will be provided with a set of recommendations from Early Years specialists. Dedicated parent reports can also be shared with parents to help a child manage their first important steps in school. Local authorities can access reports which gain an overview of how cohorts are performing in their region, all provided for the same per pupil cost.


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Notes for Editors

  • The Education Resources Awards honour the quality and diversity of educational products and resources, educational establishments and the most dedicated members of the industry. In their seventeenth successful year, the awards are organised by BESA, the trade association representing educational suppliers in the UK sector, and Brilliant Marketing.
  • From September 2016, primary schools will be required to conduct a baseline assessment with reception children. This will be used as the starting point from which pupils’ progress will be measured at the end of Key Stage 2.
  • Schools can now choose from a list of reception baseline assessments approved by the DfE. Those that opt to begin using an approved assessment a year early, from September 2015, will receive funding to support implementation of the baseline.

About GL Assessment

GL Assessment is the leading provider of formative assessments to UK schools. Working with a large pool of universities and research teams, our scientifically rigorous assessments have been used by education, health and psychology professionals for over 30 years. Today, we lead literacy, numeracy and ability testing in UK schools and have delivered over 7 million online tests, providing teachers with real insights and evidence to help them make a genuine improvement.

About BESA

BESA, the British Educational Suppliers Association, is the trade association representing over 300 educational suppliers in the UK, including manufacturers and distributors of equipment, materials, books, consumables, furniture, technology, ICT hardware and digital-content related services to the education market.

With 80 years of experience, BESA offers unparalleled support, research, events and advice on both UK and International markets, and the future of the education supplies industry.  BESA is focused on promoting and providing support and advice to their members, the industry and to schools.

BESA has a Code of Practice to which all members must adhere, along with a stringent membership process, both of which assure buyers of a high standard of quality in both product and customer service.

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Tel: 07870 808 166

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