The ‘More Than A Score’ Campaign SPECIAL – How They Started, What Motivated Them To Get Active & Why You Need To Get Involved.

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Posted by: Kevin Mulryne

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Children are More Than A Score.

Primary school is a time for self-discovery, building confidence and nourishing potential. But primary school children in England are being let down by a system that cares more about measurement than their education. 

Our system is obsessed with league tables, turning children into data points and denying them a broad, stimulating education at key stages in their development. It puts an unnecessary burden on children, parents and teachers alike.

More Than a Score believes there is another way. They’re a growing coalition of parents, teachers, heads and education experts, working together to call for change in the government’s over-testing regime.

As a former Deputy Head Teacher and Class teacher, who taught in Reception, I also believe that 4 year olds are more than a score.

Today we’ll find out more about More Than A Score how they started, what motivated them to get active and to tell us more about their Campaign.

Nancy Stewart is Vice Chair of TACTYC, the Association for Professional Development in Early Years and a member of the More Than A Score coalition. She is an independent consultant and writer & as Senior Adviser with National Strategies, she had a lead role in ‘Every Child a Talker’

“I moved from the USA to the UK with my husband and young son 38 years ago. At that point I had experience in health education, had completed my teacher training, Master’s degree and school teaching experience. In following years our family grew by three more children, while my career followed a winding path that kept children and families at the centre. I established a sessional nursery in our home, taught pregnancy couples classes, and wrote for national magazines – including an ‘agony mum’ column – and a book about babies and toddlers. After finding my way back into schools I led early years and was Assistant and Deputy Head in a large primary school, teaching in reception and nursery. Moving into local authority advisory work, I supported schools, settings and childminders with quality improvement, developed and delivered training, led implementation of the new EYFS, moderated EYFS Profile in schools, and was the education lead in a new children’s centre. I also got involved as lecturer and assessor for Early Years Professional Status through Manchester Metropolitan and Edge Hill Universities.

As Senior Adviser with National Strategies, I had a lead role in Every Child a Talker, and in developing national materials. I was one of a team of four who provided expert advice to the Tickell review of the Early Years Foundation Stage, and through my interest in children’s development as self-regulating learners I urged bringing the characteristics of effective learning into the statutory framework. I have been an independent consultant since 2012, delivering CPD all around the country, acting as consultant with the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED), and writing a number of books including How Children Learn: The Characteristics of Effective Early Learning (Early Education 2012). I co-produced Development Matters in the EYFS with Helen Moylett, and am an Associate with Early Education. I am always keen to learn more about communication and language, self-regulation, and the role of the adult in playful teaching and learning.”

(Taken from Nancy’s Profile on the TACTYC website) 

There are many ways you can get involved, here is just a few from the More Than A Score website: 

  • Calling headteachers – Join us: Are you one of a growing number of heads who believe that the government’s standardised testing regime is not fit for purpose? Add your voice to our campaign.
  • Get involved – Take action: More Than A Score is about parents and teachers coming together to change a system that doesn’t work.
  • Stop testing 4 year olds – Sign the petition: This September, the government begins a pilot of its new English and maths tests for four-year-olds. Sign our petition to stop the roll-out of testing for reception children.
  • Join our March! It’s time to stand up for 4-year-olds: On Thursday 25 April 2019, we’ll be marching to 10 Downing Street to hand in our petition demanding a halt to the government’s plans to test four-year-olds when they start school. A group of 4-year-olds will personally deliver the signatures to number 10.
  • Assessment For Children: A Charter: Assessment For Children is a group of schools putting children first in the government’s regime of of high-stakes, standardised assessment.

Other Ways to Connect with More Than A Score



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