Steve Dew

Head Teacher: Church Cowley St James Primary School
Speaking at


Is there a better way to moderate writing?

“Adaptive Comparative Judgement provides a valid way of assessing writing and open-ended tasks that improves professional agreement, removes criteria interpretation, teacher bias and crucially improves reliability.
This talk documents a cross-school research project designed to test how ACJ can be used to moderate and benchmark writing across a local authority or MAT.
The session will explore:
• Why rubrics can often give a false impression of writing ‘ability’
• How teachers assessing writing from schools other than their own can lead to a pragmatic professional consensus of what writing truly looks like.
• How anonymously benchmarking writing against other schools leads to teachers using their professional judgements & increases dialogue.


Steve is currently the Head Teacher at Church Cowley St James Primary in Oxford, UK a position he’s held since 2012. As a teacher he worked in classes from Nursery – KS4 and finally settled in Primary 13 years ago.
Last year, after visiting ResearchEd in Haninge (his first ResearchEd conference) he helped to develop and then ran a pilot scheme of using Adaptive Comparative Judgement (ACJ) to moderate writing across a local authority.
On the back of the successful trials Steve set up to offer ACJ assessment for schools.

Twitter: @AssessProgress