The Rochford Review

The expert review of statutory assessment arrangements for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests.


The review group brought together expertise in assessment, special educational needs and working with disadvantaged pupils. The purpose was to advise the Minister of State for Schools on solutions for assessing the abilities of pupils who don’t meet the standards required to take the national curriculum tests.


In October 2016, the review group set out its recommendations in their final report.

In December 2015, they published recommendations for an interim statutory solution at pre-key stage 1 and pre-key stage 2, following consultation with representative stakeholders. Schools used this interim statutory solution in 2016 to assess pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests and above the performance scales (P scales).

The Standards and Testing Agency will consult on the final report’s recommendations in early 2017.

Terms of reference


  • Diane Rochford (chair) - Executive Headteacher, John F Kennedy Academy (4 to 19 special needs academy)
  • Janet Thompson (deputy chair) - Headteacher, Dorothy Goodman School, Leicestershire (3 to 19 special needs school)
  • Paul Harris - Executive Headteacher, Curwen Primary School and Kensington Primary School
  • Pete Hopkins - Headteacher, Severne Primary School
  • Philippa Stobbs - Assistant Director Council for Disabled Children and Vice Chair of Special Education Consortium
  • Richard Aird OBE - formerly headteacher of 4 special schools and Chair of the Herefordshire Learning Disability Trust
  • Sherann Hillman - North West representative and Co-chair of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums and founder of the Parents in Partnership Forum Stockport
  • Paul Newton - Research Chair Ofqual and a member of the Commission on Assessment Without Levels
  • Charlie Henry - National Lead for Special Educational Needs and Disability at Ofsted (September – November 2015)
  • Mary Rayner HMI - National Lead for Special Educational Needs and Disability at Ofsted (December 2015 – March 2016)

Contact details