This book is for all teachers who teach physical education in schools and colleges. It is also aimed at those who train teachers and are involved in the professional development of teachers. In the past assessment was always underplayed or even neglected in the training of PE teachers. This is not surprising as PE was not traditionally in the formal structures of assessment until recently. However, all that has changed with the advent of GCSE, ROA and the National Curriculum. Therefore no-one in PE can afford to neglect this area any more. However, teachers becoming involved in these developments usually have a lot of questions to ask and issues to clarify. Books on assessment in education have completely ignored physical education and the particular issues which are raised by the PE context. This book has been written to fill that gap, and hopefully will meet teachers' needs and those of their trainers and professional developers. It has been written in the form of posing and answering teachers' questions, such as, 'Why assess?'; 'What can I assess?'; 'How can I assess satisfactorily in PE?'; 'What type of ROA's are there?'; 'Can the National Curriculum be delivered in primary schools?'; 'What are the effects of all this assessment?' The issues raised by these questions are discussed in some detail. Therefore it is not a simple 'how to do it' book. This may disappoint some teachers because, in the demanding world of the school and with the ever increasing demands of the Government, a simple recipe for handling assessment and its issues is attractive. This may be particularly so for the hard pressed primary teacher. This book may, therefore, seem complex for many teachers. However, I suggest that in order to arrive at a simple, yet effective, recipe, teachers must consider the relevant issues. I believe they will also find it useful in two ways. Firstly, they will find practical advice, and secondly they will find that it has a relation to assessment in other subjects and issues in the school more generally.
As teachers will be aware, this has not been an easy time to write about assessment because the situation has been constantly changing. During the writing of this book, the interim report of the working party for PE and the statutory orders for PE have been published, Ministers of Education have been changed, and the Government was always making new pronouncements on some aspect of assessment to do with the National Curriculum or examinations or vocational qualifications. Two examining groups changed their names recently as well. It was like trying to catch an elusive fly. A more apt description in relation to PE might