TEACHER SURVEY: Can trust in teacher assessment be increased?

We were delighted to have a visit last month from Mick Walker. Mick was a teacher for 17 years, before a long and varied career in education, including a role as Executive Director of the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency. Although ostensibly retired now, he retains involvement with education as an adviser to the DfE, a trustee of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors (CIEA), chair of the Institute of Directors’ Examinations Committee, as well as undertaking extensive work with schools and educational conferences. 

Mick is now undertaking a PhD entitled “Can trust in teacher assessment be increased?”, and has asked us to share a survey on ITT educational assessment course content with our subscribers. Find the survey directly here, and you can read Mick’s letter below.


Dear Colleague,

Since retiring as Executive Director of Education at the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency, I have continued my interest and involvement in educational assessment with a particular focus on how we can increase trust in teachers’ assessments. I am now studying for a PhD at the University of Leeds and writing to you to ask for your help and assistance.

As you are probably aware, teacher assessment has been greatly reduced in the new general qualifications, its place in national curriculum assessments is under review and the variability and quality of initial training in aspects of assessment has been questioned. For example, the Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) concluded that significant improvements are needed for training in assessment and that there are significant gaps in schools and ITT providers in the theoretical and technical aspects of assessment (Carter, 2015).

As part of a wider study into trust in teachers’ ability to deliver reliable assessments in mainstream education in England, I have developed a couple of surveys looking to provide information on the theoretical, technical and practical aspects of educational assessment delivered in ITT.

I would be delighted if you would take a little of your precious time to either complete and submit the questionnaire accessible through the link below – and/or pass to as many teachers as you can in your own school or beyond. The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete.

All data produced in the survey will be used for the sole purpose of the research. Your name will not be linked with the research materials and you will not be identified or be identifiable in any report that results from this research.  Your participation in this study is entirely voluntary and you are under no obligation to answer all of the questions. You can withdraw from the questionnaire at any point but once the survey has been submitted you are in effect giving consent that the information provided can be used for the sole purpose of the study.

The information produced as a result of the survey will be used to present an analysis of current provision and the formulation of a syllabus and associated resources on what teachers need to know about educational assessment in their initial training. The syllabus and supporting resources produced as a result of this study will be made freely available to all contributors who provide their contact details at the end of the survey.

The questionnaire offers the option for a voluntary follow-up interview to probe deeper into aspects contained in the survey.  If you do volunteer to take part in a follow-up interview, you can withdraw from the process at any time and up to two weeks following the interview.

This questionnaire is being circulated to teachers in the primary and secondary phases of education in England.


To take part in the survey please click this link.


If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me via e-mail at edmgw@leeds.ac.uk or by mobile on 07976 874171 or contact my research supervisor, Dr. Matt Homer at the University of Leeds, e-mail m.s.homer@leeds.ac.uk

Thank you for your generosity and time!


Mick Walker

University of Leeds

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