The Search for Spock initial assessment tools;
DfES recommend the following resources via their read write plus campaign http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/readwriteplus/
The Basic Skills Agency has produced “skills check” tools as a way of screening students to see if further initial assessment is required. http://www.excellencegateway.org.uk/toolslibrary
Cambridge Training and Development (CTAD) “Target Skills” http://www.targetskills.net/ not much info here, but leads to publications pages.
West Nottinghamshire College have produced a Basic Keyskillbuilder although the links all lead to password protected moodle site where you can’t even log in as a guest user – so no use for anyone wishing to follow examples of good practice.
The only useful one here so far is the Basic Skills agency, available resources are; “Good Practice Guidelines” http://www.excellencegateway.org.uk/pdf/Good_Practice_Guide.pdf which is subtitled “for literacy, language and numeracy teachers, subject support staff and adult learner supporters” . Who are these guidelines designed to help?
"Skills for Life is an ambitious strategy that is designed to address literacy, language and numeracy needs of all adults and young people. It covers all post-16 learners on learning programmes at levels from pre-Entry up to and including Level 2."
So not all adults and young people as it doesn’t include level 3+ courses?
“Initial assessment in HE” returned the following document written in 2001, http://readingroom.lsc.gov.uk/pre2005/quality/goodpractice/initial-assessment-of-learning-and-support-needs-and-planning-learning-to-meet-needs.pdf which highlights some good points (this is from 2001 not found anything more recent yet…)
The trend appears to be to assess basic skills; literacy and numeracy, upon commencing a course, those who need help with either are picked up and support offered such as testing for dyslexia, there are relatively few references to screening mainstream students and where they are screened, it is only for “basic skills”
Otherwise existing qualifications are used as the startpoint to compare gaining new skills and knowledge against. But this doesn’t help determine what additional support the students need.