News story

Improvements to the primary assessment system announced

Government responds to the primary assessment consultations.

Children using a laptop

The government has today published its plans to create a stable and proportionate primary assessment system for the long-term. The changes will support teachers to ensure that children have the necessary skills and knowledge they will need to go on to succeed at secondary school and in later life, while reducing the burdens on schools and teachers. This follows a 12-week public consultation.

The reforms will:

  • improve the way that writing is assessed, so that teachers have more scope to use their professional judgment when assessing pupil performance
  • introduce a new assessment at the start of reception from September 2020 to act as the start point for measuring progress, so we can give schools credit for the progress they help pupils make in reception, year one and year two
  • remove the statutory status of end-of-key stage 1 assessments at the earliest possible point, from the 2022 to 2023 academic year, once the reception baseline is fully established
  • reduce burdens for teachers by removing the requirement to carry out statutory teacher assessments in English reading and mathematics at the end of key stage 2 from the 2018 to 2019 academic year onwards
  • improve the early years foundation stage profile, including revising the Early Learning Goals to make them clearer and align them more closely with teaching in key stage 1
  • introduce an online multiplication tables check, to be taken by pupils at the end of year 4, from the 2019 to 2020 academic year onwards

The government has also responded to the parallel consultation, on the recommendations of the Rochford Review. Having considered the responses to that consultation, the government has decided to implement the Review’s proposal to extend the pre-key stage standards to cover all pupils who are working below the standard of national curriculum tests but are engaged in subject- specific learning. We will also pilot the Review’s recommended approach to assessing those pupils not engaged in subject learning. These plans will ensure there are effective assessment arrangements in place for primary school children working below the standard of the national curriculum tests.

2017 to 2018 revised teacher assessment frameworks

Alongside the government responses to these consultations, we have also today published teacher assessment frameworks for key stage 1 and key stage 2 for use in the 2017 to 2018 academic year. We will publish further guidance and exemplification materials later in the autumn term. Revised frameworks for the assessment of English reading, mathematics and science will be published for use from the 2018 to 2019 academic year.

Additionally, we’ve updated the interim pre-key stage standards for English writing for key stage 1 and key stage 2 to align with changes made to the frameworks. These standards should be used in the 2017 to 2018 academic year. Revised pre-key stage standards for all subjects will be published for use in the 2018 to 2019 academic year onwards.

Published 14 September 2017