Partnerships for Assessment

With the countdown to BETT 2017 in its last days – its not surprising there has been a flurry of activity and announcements. Regular readers won’t be surprised that I have been following the changes in the Assessment landscape; and as part of that – there is some interesting news to report. When the new SIMS Assessment was launched, the initial release concentrated on the Primary sector, and was well received. You may remember mentions of Learning Ladders back then. At the start of the month, a technical partnership between Capita SIMS and Learning Ladders was announced – but what does this actually mean for Schools? For head teachers, it means that primary schools are going to be able to measure pupils’ progress without levels easily and then analyse that data within the SIMS management information system. This very important, as it will give the tools schools need to be able to compare the progress of their pupils against similar schools nationally; making those statistics relevant. Schools are getting more data savy – and this ability to compare will help bring the confidence that decisions made on the ground are improving outcomes for pupils; as well as highlighting areas where more work is required.


Learning Ladders allows the freedom to easily personalise the curriculum to support an individual school’s assessment policy. What makes this solution different is that it was developed for schools by schools. The system is designed to be intuitive, using ‘Ladders’. Once information has been entered into Learning Ladders against the individual ‘Ladder Rungs’ it is automatically imported into SIMS which 22,000 schools already use. The approach is designed to support formative assessment within the classroom and aims to involve the whole school community in a conversation about learning. This automatic import saves time and gives senior leadership teams an accurate benchmark of progress.


Phil Neal, a director at Capita SIMS, says: “In this post-levels world, it is more important than ever for senior leadership teams to identify any gaps in learning. We are pleased to be working with Learning Ladders as it is providing many primary schools with an easy to use solution to developing their curriculum and assessing pupils.”


Matthew Koster-Marcon, managing director of Learning Ladders, says: “Now that schools have the freedom to develop a curriculum tailored to the particular needs of their pupils, it follows that they need a solution that can simply analyse the overall progress of an individual, group or an entire class. Our partnership with SIMS equips schools across the country with all the curriculum management skills that they need.”

Im sure this partnership will continue to reap rewards for SIMS users; and it will be interested to follow with Rachael Marshman (Product Manager – SIMS Assessment) – the impact this is having.

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