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The Primary Assessment Consultation

Author: Suzanne O’Connell

The government’s response to the primary assessment consultation had a mixed reception. It is clear that the DfE has come out in favour of reception baseline assessment rather than using the baseline of assessment at KS1.

The NAHT and other teacher unions are generally in support of this move. However, many early years educators fear that such an assessment is impossible to achieve with any reliability or validity and will skew early years practice.

The DfE’s consultation response indicates that there will be:

  • some revision of the Early Learning Goals
  • continued use of the EYFSP (Early Years Foundation Stage Profile)
  • continued use of the assessment scales ‘emerging’, ‘expected’ and ‘exceeding’ with the possibility that there might be an additional band
  • the removal of the statutory requirement for schools to report teacher assessment judgements in English reading and maths at the end of KS2 from 2018
  • a multiplication tables check that will take place at the end of Year 4
  • a new baseline developed as a statutory assessment tool for reception to be introduced in autumn 2020.

The new baseline assessment will be provided by one supplier and its introduction will mean that there will be two statutory assessments in reception. The reception baseline will then be used seven years later to mark the progress made at the end of primary school. In the meantime, KS1 assessment will continue to be used.

The response is available at by clicking here.

About the author:

Dr. Suzanne O’Connell is a freelance writer specialising in education. Prior to this she taught for 23 years and was a headteacher of a junior school in Nuneaton for 11 years.

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