Wefan Gymraeg

Kirsty Williams launches online testing for reading and numeracy


National reading and numeracy tests in Welsh schools are set to replace paper with innovative online assessments that adapt to a pupil’s abilities, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams announced today (Tues 2nd May).

Currently the tests, taken by all pupils in years two to nine, are carried out on paper. They aim to find out about pupils’ reading and numeracy skills in order to identify what each child needs to focus upon to progress.

The paper tests will be replaced with new personalised assessments to be taken online that have been specifically designed for use in Wales. The new assessments will automatically adjust the level of the questions to match the individual taking the test, providing an appropriate level of challenge for each learner.

The change to online tests will reduce marking time and administration.

Benefits include:

  • Assessments tailored to individual pupils.
  • More detailed information on a child’s performance.
  • A reduction in feedback times to teachers and learners.

Schools will be able to test classes, small groups or individuals according to their facilities and at a time that works for them and their learners.

The new tests will be phased in over three years, starting from the 2018/19 academic year.

Kirsty Williams said:

“These tests are about raising standards by showing the next steps that children need to take in their learning. The move to online personalised assessments for reading and numeracy will benefit pupils, parents and teachers.

“Pupils will be taking assessments that will adapt to their needs and skills. They will have the benefits of automatic marking and schools will have feedback faster than before, giving them a better picture of how they can help all their learners to move on.

“This approach is tailor made for Wales. It shows how we are investing in our schools to continue our national mission of education reform to drive up standards and make sure every pupil in Wales, whatever their background, has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”


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