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English Assessment – An In-Person EMC Teacher Conference

Places available
£150 per place

In 2022, EMC’s Research & Projects team set out to investigate the state of assessment in KS3 English. They found that across lots of schools, summative testing and data-driven practices dominate. This is distorting not just assessment, but curriculum practice as well. This conference will argue for forms of assessment that support great curriculum for English, and allow teachers to practise in ways that are true to, and useful for, the subject and its students. Offering a range of sessions including a keynote from Dr Bethan Marshall not to be missed and workshops led by inspiring teachers, it promises to be a day that leaves you invigorated and full of ideas to take back to school and reflect on.

You will go away equipped with:

  • Practical strategies and resources 
  • English-specific research and up to date thinking
  • Ideas about ways you can move forward with assessment practice in your department.


Introduction: Lucy Hinchliffe


Keynote with Q&A: Dr Bethan Marshall



Introducing EMC's Assessment Project with Q&A: Lucy Hinchliffe, Katie Kibbler and Anmika Salter

EMC’s Research & Projects team share an overview of their project exploring English assessment practices in school, and what their findings suggest about the changes needed.


Break and networking


Breakout sessions (delegates will be asked to choose 2 x 45 minute sessions)


Breakout 1: Transforming curriculum and assessment practices, with Charlotte Meehan and Katie Kibbler

English departments increasingly find it a challenge to find directed time together outside KS4 and KS5 priorities. In this breakout, Charlotte and Katie argue that it’s vital for curriculum and assessment that we find time together for the sake of a shared department ethos, and that we must make space for KS3. They share their experiences of working as English Heads of Department to transform how English teams approach assessment.


Breakout 2: Formative assessment practices in the classroom, with Vinita Byrne and Anmika Salter

Formative assessment practices are often subject to trends and whole school initiatives. In this session, Vinita and Anmika argue that, for English, it’s different. They share their work together on EMC’s assessment project and discuss distinctive, useful formative practice for English classrooms.


Breakout 3: Disentangling the assessment of reading from the assessment of writing, with Josh Beal and Andrew McCallum

Reading is primarily assessed through writing. So how do we make sure that students are able to demonstrate their knowledge and thinking about their reading without anxieties about writing getting in the way. This session, with Head of Department Josh Beal and EMC’s Andrew McCallum, looks to provide some practical answers that draw on recent classroom practice.


Lunch and networking




What Matters in Student Writing? A workshop with Barbara Bleiman, followed by Q&A

Drawing on her experience of reading so much student work across her long and varied career, Barbara will share what she thinks matters when it comes to English teachers assessing their students’ writing. She will use real examples of student writing to discuss how disciplinary practice has changed, and ways in which we might get back on track.



Panel discussion: Assessment in English – where do we go from here?

Chaired by Andrew McCallum, with Lucy Hinchliffe, Research & Projects Lead EMC; Anurag Jain, English Director of Learning; Stephanie Keenan, Ark English Mastery and Professor Bethan Marshall, Kings College London.



EMC, 44 Webber Street, London, SE1 8QW

How to get to the English and Media Centre

National Rail:

Waterloo and Waterloo East are within 10 minutes walk


Southwark on the Jubilee Line

Waterloo on the Jubilee, Bakerloo, Waterloo & City and Northern Lines


The following bus routes go close to Webber Street: 1, 139, 168, 171, 172, 344


Photo of Barbara Bleiman

Barbara Bleiman

Barbara Bleiman is an education consultant at EMC, co-editor of emagazine and the author of What Matters in English Teaching. She writes blogs and articles about education and has written or co-written many EMC publications for the classroom, including several resources on poetry, novels and language study. Among these are Doing Close Reading, Studying The Handmaid’s Tale, Sight/Unseen Poetry, KS3 Poetry Plus, as well as Curriculum Conversations: Going on an Odyssey. She takes the lead on EMC’s project on group work, ‘It’s Good to Talk’ and has a strong interest in ideas about the curriculum, developing the idea of ‘cultural conversations’ as a challenge to the notion of cultural capital. In 2019 she was awarded the NATE Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Teaching of English. She is also a Fellow of the English Association. Barbara is the author of two novels, Off the Voortrekker Road and Accidents of Love, and has recently published a collection of short stories, Kremlinology of Kisses.

Photo of Anmika Salter

Anmika Salter

Anmika works part time at the English and Media Centre in the Research and Projects team and is Head of Department in a large comprehensive school in North London the rest of the week. 

Photo of Katie  Kibbler

Katie Kibbler

Katie is a joint Head of Department in an 11-16 community school in East London. She is currently on secondment with the EMC in the Research and Projects team for two days a week. 

Photo of Andrew McCallum

Andrew McCallum

Andrew McCallum is Director of the English and Media Centre. Prior to that he ran a PGCE course in secondary English, and previously he taught for 15 years in London schools, spending most of that time at Acland Burghley School in Camden. He holds a doctorate in education, is author of Creativity and Learning in Secondary English (Routledge) and writes regularly for NATE's Teaching English magazine. If asked to name the EMC publication he's most proud of having worked on, it would be a three-way contest between Iridescent Adolescent, Diverse Shorts and Write On.

Photo of Lucy Hinchliffe

Lucy Hinchliffe

Lucy Hinchliffe is EMC’s Research & Projects Lead consultant. Her work is focused on exploring how English is taught in schools and how EMC can best support this through publications and CPD. She also specialises in KS3 and KS4 courses at the Centre, and has contributed to several publications, including the EMC Teaching novels pack for The Bone Sparrow, and EMC KS3 Poetry Plus. Lucy was an English teacher, KS3 Coordinator and whole school CPD leader in an outer London school prior to joining EMC full time.

Photo of Josh Beal

Josh Beal

Josh is a new Head of English at a school in Derbyshire, having previously been second in department in Nottingham for five years. He enjoys teaching poetry and all the power it has in communicating big ideas and he is particularly interested in the power of talk in the classroom.

Photo of Stephanie Keenan

Stephanie Keenan

Head of Secondary English, English Mastery, Ark Curriculum Plus

Stephanie joined English Mastery in 2022 as Principal Development Lead, supporting schools to implement the curriculum, before becoming Head of Programme. Prior to working for English Mastery, Stephanie was Head of English and Curriculum Development Lead and Literacy Lead at an outer London comprehensive, where she taught English from KS3 to A-level Literature and Language for ten years. She changed career from television production to teaching in 2010. Stephanie recently completed an MA in Expert Teaching with Ambition Institute/Plymouth Marjon, taught undergraduates for the BA (Hons) Education Studies at the University of West London, focusing on Assessment Theory and Practice, and worked as an Evidence Lead in Education with Greenshaw Research School.

Photo of Dr Bethan Marshall

Dr Bethan Marshall

Senior Lecturer in English Education, King’s College London

Dr Bethan Marshall is a leading figure in research into English and assessment, with multiple publications including English Inside the Black Box (2006), Assessment for Learning: Putting it into Practice (2003) and Testing English: Formative and Summative Approaches to English Assessment (2011).

One of Dr Bethan Marshall's areas of interest is in the competing philosophies or models of English as a subject and how these impact on policy. She is currently researching the way in which English teachers' philosophies of their subject change over time. 

Photo of Dr Anurag Jain

Dr Anurag Jain

Dr Anurag Jain is the Director of Learning for English and Jo Richardson Community School, leading one of the departments who took part in EMC’s assessment project. He is a passionate advocate for formative assessment as being the key lever for improving student learning. 

Photo of Vinita Byrne

Vinita Byrne

Vinita Byrne is KS3 Coordinator at Furze Platt Senior School in Maidenhead, one of EMC’s assessment project schools.. She had careers before teaching in the corporate sector in the UK and India in Public Relations and Communication. She draws on her experience of working and learning in different parts of the world in her practice, bringing an awareness of the richness and challenges offered by both. Her interests as a teacher include creating a dialogic classroom culture and allowing room for students to learn from each other through effective peer and formative feedback.

Photo of Charlotte Meehan

Charlotte Meehan

Charlotte Meehan is Key Stage 3 Coordinator at Jo Richardson Community School. She led one of the departments who took part in EMC’s assessment project, and continues to work on transforming their teaching and learning and assessment practices. She is particularly invested in imparting passion, excitement and engagement within teaching and learning in English, for both students and staff.

  • Bookings for this course will close at 8am GMT on Wednesday 26th June or when capacity is reached, whichever is the sooner. 
  • This course must be booked online. 
  • To book this course you must be signed into one of the following accounts:
    • UK Educator Admin (purchasing)
    • UK Teacher – Home Address Only
    • UK Private Individual
    • Overseas
  • If you have a UK Educator Standard account you will not be able to book the course. Sign in to your account and add it to your Wishlist. See the list of people able to book courses at your organisation by clicking ‘My Account’, then ‘Our Admin Users’.
  1. Click 'Book now’ (right-hand column).
  2. Add the number of places you need. 
  3. Fill in the names and email addresses of the people attending. To secure your place, please make sure you add the attendee details immediately and checkout within 24 minutes. Otherwise the booking will expire and you will have to begin the process again. The joining information and post-course email will be emailed to both the person booking the course and the attendee.
  4. Click submit and then Go to basket.
  5. Checkout. 
  6. Please pay by card if you can. If you need to pay by invoice, you must be signed into a ‘UK Educator Admin User' account. You will not be able to request an invoice if you have one of the short courses in your basket at the same time. These must be paid for in advance.
  7. Once you have booked your place, you will see a screen indicating your order has been successful. You may want to make a note of your order number. The person making the booking and the attendee will also receive an automatic acknowledgement of your booking.
  8. When the course has reached viable numbers, this will be indicated on the course page on the website and you may wish to book your transport.

Cancellations and amendments

  • We require at least five working days’ notice of cancellation, otherwise your school will be invoiced for the full amount. However, if you are not able to attend and a colleague would like to take your place, this can be arranged at any time. (Please email [email protected] with the name and email address of the teacher.)
  • You will receive a notification when the course has reached viable numbers and will definitely run unless there are circumstances beyond our reasonable control. 
  • If a course does have to be cancelled you will not be charged for the course and will receive a refund if you paid in advance. However, personal arrangements including travel, accommodation or hospitality relating to the course which have been arranged by you or your institution are at your own risk and not refundable by us. You may wish to wait until you hear that the course has reached viable numbers before booking these.
  • Our face-to-face courses are very interactive and cannot be live-streamed.