National Education Findings of Assess to Learn (AtoL) Report

Publication Details

This report describes the impact that the Ministry of Education’s professional development Assess to Learn Project has had on teachers, students and schools in New Zealand.

Author(s): Dr Jenny Poskitt (Massey University) & Kerry Taylor (Education Group Limited).

Date Published: July 2008


The project has been evaluated against the key outcomes of the project, which are to:

  • improve student learning and achievement
  • shift teachers’ knowledge and assessment practice
  • develop coherence between assessment processes, practices and systems in classrooms and in schools so that they promote better learning
  • demonstrate a culture of continuous school improvement.

The Assess to Learn project has been supporting professional development in schools since 2002. Evaluation has been ongoing since 2003 by national evaluators Dr Jenny Poskitt (Massey University) and Kerry Taylor (Education Group Limited). Evaluation for the period 2005 to 2007 showed that AtoL had met all of the key outcomes. There have been impressive gains in student learning and achievement, and teachers and schools report positive sustainable changes in teaching, learning and assessment processes, practices and systems. This report describes the literature review and the methodology used for the evaluation, and the findings for each of the key outcomes. The AtoL project continues to support professional learning in schools through three year contracts for 2008-2010.

The report has been written for a school and teacher audience.