Policy and Developments in Mathematics Assessment in England

Sarah Maughan, Louise Cooper

23 August 2010

This paper sets the context by detailing the policy developments in mathematics assessment in England, highlighting the many changes that have occurred over recent years and the reasons for these. The reasons include: to encourage greater engagement with mathematics, which in turn could lead to greater participation rates beyond compulsory schooling; and to develop higher levels of deep understanding of mathematical concepts, allowing them to be used more effectively in new contexts, including in the work place.

The paper goes on to describe findings from on-going research that is being conducted at the NFER in England into the features of good mathematics assessment. Good mathematics assessment is defined as assessment that will support the teaching and learning of problem solving and of higher order skills in the mathematics classroom. Finally, the paper considers whether the current policy developments will encourage the use of our model of good assessment, and if not, what some of the constraints may be.

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