NAMER

The Centre has been involved in implementing and reporting on National Assessments of ‎Mathematics and English reading (NAMER) since the 1980s on behalf of the DES.

While earlier National Assessments covered a range of grade/age levels ‎and domains, the Department of Education and Skills decided that, from ‎‎2014, National Assessments would be implemented in the Second and ‎Sixth classes, and would include both English reading and mathematics.

In Spring, 2014, over 8,000 pupils in Second and Sixth classes in a ‎representative national sample of 150 primary schools completed secure ‎tests of English reading and mathematics and responded to pupil ‎questionnaires, while their principals, class teachers and parents also ‎completed questionnaires. A performance report (Shiel, Kavanagh & ‎Millar) outlining achievement results was released in early 2015. A ‎context report, which will draw on both performance and questionnaire ‎outcomes, will be published in Autumn 2015.

A main ‎report (Eivers, Close, Shiel, Millar, Clerkin, Gilleece & Kiniry) and a technical report ‎‎(Eivers, Clerkin, Millar & Close) arising from the 2009 National Assessments, were published in 2010.

In 2010, the national assessments of mathematics and English reading were ‎implemented in a representative sample of Irish-medium schools and comparisons were ‎drawn between the performance of pupils in schools in general (based on the 2009 ‎assessment) and in Gaeltacht schools and Gaelscoileanna.  A summary report on the ‎National Assessments in Irish-medium Schools (NAIMS) was published in English and ‎Gaeilge in 2011 (Shiel, Gilleece, Clerkin & Millar) and a main report, in both languages, ‎was published in 2012 (Gilleece, Shiel, Clerkin & Millar).

In 2011, as part of the National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy 2011-‎‎2020, the Department of Education and Skills set out specific targets related to performance ‎on English reading and mathematics proficiency levels that were developed following the ‎‎2009 national assessments.  These targets, which include increasing the proportions of ‎higher-achieving pupils in schools and reducing the proportions of lower-achieving pupils, are ‎intended to be met by 2020. The performance report on the 2014 National Assessments provides ‎evidence of progress towards attaining the targets outlined in the ‎strategy.