Priya Lakhani CEO Century Tech
Priya Lakhani OBE is the Founder CEO of CENTURY Tech, the award-winning artificial intelligence education technology company. CENTURY is the global leader in AI-powered learning tools for schools and families, working in dozens of countries across the world.
Priya was awarded Business Entrepreneur of the Year by the Chancellor in 2009 and Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2014. She was a business advisor to the UK’s coalition government, was appointed to the UK government’s AI Council in 2019 and is a regular commentator on global news for the BBC.
In 2018, Priya co-founded the Institute for Ethical AI in Education. In 2020, Priya was awarded an honorary doctorate by Coventry University’s engineering faculty and appointed Honorary Vice President of the Council of British International Schools.
Why rethink assessment?
Unfortunately we’re in a position today where much of what we teach, and the way in which we do so, is increasingly driven not by rational decisions, but the demands of the high stakes testing system. Under this pressure, it’s no surprise that pupils’ development and teachers’ well-being are suffering.
With this in mind, it’s clear that reform is needed. I believe the most fundamental improvement that we could make is to move to a “package” of summative and formative assessments, relying much more on formative assessment than we currently do. When divorced from the context of high-stakes accountability and done in this formative way, assessment can really benefit children and help them understand that this is part of a continuous learning journey in which they can always improve – rather than being a permanent stamp on their forehead.
It’s going to be incredibly difficult to change our approach for the better, given how entrenched it is – but if we do manage to move to a better system, not only will we improve the way we test and analyse how pupils are doing, but the potential positive knock-on effects on everything from teacher well-being to qualifications to teacher recruitment and to the process of learning itself will be significant.