Fairness is a moral virtue in the interactions of purposive social practices. It is closely related to, but distinct from, the social concepts of equality, equity, and justice. Being fair in social practices generally involves following the rules of interaction in a balanced and open manner without impeding opportunity or taking advantage of others. In educational practice, assessments are used for multiple purposes across the full span of formal education, from early childhood to graduate studies, in large-scale programmes and classroom contexts. Educational assessment refers to the process of planning, collecting, evaluating, and reporting on information related to the knowledge, skills, and abilities of students, as evidence of learning. There are multiple imperatives for fairness in educational assessment, including democratic, technical, and pedagogical imperative. Fairness is similar to the measurement qualities of validity and reliability in that it is neither dichotomous, nor the property of an assessment task or tool. Strategies for fairer educational assessment relate to two principles, openness and opportunity, that reflect the etymology of fairness. Openness in educational assessment involves transparency in the purposes, process and success criteria, and timely access to results. Opportunities to demonstrate learning should be meaningful, multiple, varied, and appropriate for students. While opportunities should also be equitable according to students’ needs, comparable treatment is necessary for some purposes. Three conditions facilitate the use of strategies for fairer educational assessment: (1) ample opportunity for students to learn before an assessment; (2) a constructive learning environment for diverse students; and (3) the use and encouragement of evaluative thinking before, during, and after assessments. Fairness is a complex concept, and specific requirements for fairer educational assessment depend on the students themselves, assessment purpose, and circumstances. Our understanding of fairness should continue to evolve with advances in theory and practice, and it is hoped that the broader conditions that facilitate fairness will continue to improve. Seeing fairness as a joint responsibility in this process will ensure that there are fewer barriers to fairer educational assessment for students.