Who we are
Professor Alice Bradbury
Co-chair of ICAPE
I am a Professor of Sociology of Education at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, and Co-Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy (0-11 years). I specialise in research on the impact of education policy on classroom practices and inequalities, with a particular focus on issues of assessment in early years and primary schools.
I took on co-chairing this commission due to my long-standing interest in issues of assessment from the EYFS Profile to KS2 SATs, and due to my post-pandemic hope that this can be a time for change. I hope that we can find workable solutions to the problems of assessment which allow for greater equity among different groups of pupils and a curriculum less focused on high-stakes tests.
Professor Dominic Wyse FAcSS FRSA
Co-chair of ICAPE
I am Professor of Early Childhood and Primary Education at the IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society. I am Founding Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy (0-11 years), a research centre devoted to improving young children’s education. I am also President of the British Educational Research Association (2019 – 2022).
The main focus of my research is curriculum and pedagogy which includes a sustained contribution to knowledge about teaching writing, reading and creativity. I have extensive experience of working at the interface of research, policy and practice, particularly in relation to my work on national curricula, but also including my work on education as an academic discipline. My research on reading, writing and curriculum has attracted widespread media attention. Current research projects include Children’s Agency in the National Curriculum (CHANT, funded by The Leverhulme Trust).
Dr Kulvarn Atwal
I am currently Headteacher of two large primary schools in East London. One of the primary schools that I lead has been awarded the Mayor of London’s Schools for Success Award for five years in a row. My expertise is in teacher professional learning and the development of expansive learning environments for staff and students in schools. My doctoral thesis investigated the factors that impact on teacher engagement in professional learning in primary schools.
I have chosen to join the commission because I believe it is a conversation that we need to be having – we need to investigate whether or not the assessment system currently in place in primary schools is fit for purpose. My aspirations are simple – to effect change in schools which will have a direct positive impact on our students and their futures.
I am a primary school teacher from the Southwest of England. I have twelve years’ teaching experience, covering most of the primary age range and including two years at an international school. The ways in which assessment structures influence daily practice in schools interests me.
I began researching this during my master’s degree in education and have joined the commission to further explore the questions and challenges around this topic. I hope that the commission, through drawing on different professional perspectives and expertise, will generate useful contributions to the future of primary school assessment.
Dr Sarah Earle
I was a primary school teacher for 13 years before moving into ITE and am now a Reader in Education at Bath Spa University. My PhD explored the relationship between formative and summative teacher assessment of primary science in England. I lead the Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS) research and development project, working with and supporting teachers across the UK. I also work with the Education Endowment Foundation and the Chartered College of Teaching.
I am delighted to join the commission, to support discussion around assessment practices in primary school and consider principles for its purposeful use.
I am Head of Policy (Education, Equality and Social Justice) at the NEU. I previously taught in London secondary schools and in universities – I am Emeritus Professor at Goldsmiths, University of London. I know from my experience in the Union and as a researcher that the current system of primary assessment adds to the pressures on teachers and undermines the principles they value. I look forward to helping develop alternatives to a system that is badly in need of change.
Professor Bill Lucas
I am a writer, speaker and education reformer. As Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning at the University of Winchester, my research focuses on understanding those dispositions for learning which help people succeed and flourish in life. I am Co-Chair of the PISA 2022 Creative Thinking test. In 2020 I co-founded Rethinking Assessment.
I am delighted to be involved in the commission and look forward to arguing that curriculum, pedagogy and assessment need to be rethought at primary school. Every child should have an electronic learner profile describing the full range of their strengths and an electronic portfolio to capture their learning achievements.
Dr Fiona Maine
I am an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of Cambridge. I have spent many years working with teachers as they reflect on and enhance their literacy pedagogy. I believe that literacy assessment should be formative, focused on how children can be supported to develop their literacy skills in a language-rich and varied curriculum.
I agreed to join the commission as I want to be part of a movement that challenges the statutory systems in place for assessment. I hope the commission will prompt policy makers to consider the limitations of the system that we have.
Dr Rachel Marks
I am a Principal Lecturer in Primary Education. I bring expertise to the commission through my research into the wider discourses and practices around assessment, my publications, and my work with associated networks. Working in ITE, I have significant experience in helping new teachers make sense of – and use – the proliferation of practices labelled ‘assessment’.
I have agreed to be on the commission because I find the wider story around assessment fascinating. I value the opportunity to work with others dedicated to advancing a more just, useful, and rigorous approach to assessment that really supports learning and teaching.
Dr Marlon Lee Moncrieffe FCCT
I am a Principal Lecturer at the School of Education, University of Brighton. My academic research expertise is decolonising curriculum knowledge. I am formerly a primary school teacher.
I agreed to join the commission because I can contribute valuable insights on curriculum planning and assessment, gained by my leadership experiences as Head of Maths, Head of English, Head of Physical Education, and as Assistant Headteacher. I will support the commission in generating a dynamic report which speaks to much-needed policy reforms, enabling teachers to enact a future curriculum that is genuinely inclusive to all learners.
I am the CEO of Education Learning Trust, a growing cross-phase Multi-Academy Trust, which serves a diverse community in Greater Manchester. A Headteacher of several primary schools, I led my most recent school to become a National Teaching School and National Support School. I have significant experience of leading school improvement, working in partnership with local authorities and other stakeholders in a wide range of schools, and am a National Leader of Education. I am an executive board member at ASPE and a member of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy, based at UCL.
I am currently studying for a doctorate and am an advocate of evidence-based practice, hence my support for the commission. I hope that the commission will review ways in which learner achievement is measured and recognised.
Over the last 12 years, I have taught different age groups in London primary schools. I currently teach Reception in Camden. In recent years, I have completed an MA in Children's Literature, developed the use of Mantle of the Expert in the classroom and been part of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education's Closing the Vocabulary Gap research.
I am excited to be part of this commission and hope that the report produced will contribute to much needed assessment reform. The primary sector needs relevant and useful systems of assessment that support and enhance learning for all children in our schools.
I am Co-Director and Founder of Big Education, a multi-academy trust and social enterprise. I was the Headteacher of Surrey Square Primary School in SE London for 13 years. My big passions are expansive, whole child education as well as developing leaders who can think, dream and act big!
I've agreed to be part of the commission as I know the detrimental impact our current assessment arrangements have and know we can find new and better ways of capturing the full extent of children's capabilities. I hope the commission will shine a light on the necessity to start with primary-aged pupils and embed more sophisticated tools into the system.
I am the Senior Administrator Coordinator at the NEU. I have been a member of union staff for many years, participating in several projects recently, including independent assessment commissions for secondary and now primary. I share the objective of creating a better system for all children in education.
Professor Mary Richardson