The focus of the paper is an observational-descriptive study of three comprehensive schools in the Lombardy Region. It examines: the context in which teachers worked during the COVID-19 pandemic, their beliefs and practices regarding formative assessment, student learning and engagement during ERT, and the links between these and the context. The study suggests that there is a belief among teachers that formative assessment can support student learning and engagement in what is perceived to be an emergency context. The data collected indicate a positive correlation between beliefs and practices. There is also a significant effect of the school context on the development of the latter.