The engagement model

For teachers to use as an assessment tool for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests.


The engagement model


Further guidance on arrangements for the 2020/21 academic year will be published in September 2020. Following the Rochford Review, the government announced plans to introduce the engagement model. This is a new form of assessment for pupils working below the standard of the national curriculum tests and not engaged in subject-specific study. It will replace P scales 1-4 and will become statutory from the 2021/22 academic year.

Update for the 2020/21 academic year

In light of the impact of Covid19, the 2020/21 academic year will be a transitionary year (subject to the necessary legislation being made) to allow schools time to prepare for, and start embedding, the engagement model.

There will be a flexible approach for the submission of teacher assessment outcomes at the end of key stages 1 and 2. Schools that have used the engagement model will be able to report against it, and schools that need more time to implement this change will continue to have the option to assess against P scales 1 to 4, for one final year.

How will pupils be assessed?

The engagement model has 5 areas of engagement:

  • exploration
  • realisation
  • anticipation
  • persistence
  • initiation

The areas allow teachers to assess pupils’ engagement in developing new skills, knowledge and concepts in the school’s curriculum by demonstrating how pupils are achieving specific outcomes. They represent what is necessary for pupils to fully engage in their learning and reach their full potential.

How should schools use the engagement model?

The engagement model does not replace existing planning and assessment systems and schools will have autonomy over how it will be implemented.

The model encourages schools to measure each pupils’ progress independently, according to their individual profile of needs. It can also be used as a baseline tool to track and support ongoing progress.

Published 27 January 2020
Last updated 19 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated with final guidance.

  2. First published.