New Case Study - School Group Assessment and Standardisation


Victoria Merrick is a leading UK based school improvement consultant who has worked with school groups in the UK and beyond for many years.

The E-ACT Academy Trust consists of 29 primary and secondary schools covering a large geographical area in England. They have a particulalry strong focus on innovation and enabling its academies to collaborate and share ideas in ways that standalone schools may not be able to.

The challenge

Assessing Key Stage 3 Art & Design reliably and at scale presents a unique set of challenges for all schools. Unlike subjects with objective answers, creative and performance subjects, such as Art & Design, rely on judgements of subjective qualities, reliant upon individual interpretation of pre-determined criteria.

This inherent subjectivity can lead to inconsistencies in assessment, a problem which, when working across groups of schools (such as Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs)), is amplified immeasurably.

“When Vicky told me we were going to use software to assess artwork, I thought - this is going to awful! But you were right, this is a game-changer. I cannot believe how simple, quick and intuitive it was. And the reliability score is better than we’d expected!”

Art & Design teacher

What if there was another way?

In March 2024, Art teachers from E-ACT, a large multi academy trust of academies spread geographically across the UK, sought to rewrite this narrative as part of a wider Key Stage 3 Assessment Strategy redevelopment project. Working with Victoria Merrick, Merrick-Ed Limited, they devised a small-scale pilot of RM Compare, an Adaptive Comparative Judgement (ACJ) tool.

What happened?

You can read more, including an analysis of the results and next steps, in the full case study HERE.