2016 Key stage 1: assessment and reporting arrangements (ARA)

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Standards and Testing Agency
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Section 11: Legal requirements and responsibilities

Includes information about the legal status of ARA, the application of the ARA to different types of school and headteachers' responsibilities

This statutory guidance contains provisions made pursuant to Article 9 of The Education (National Curriculum) (Key Stage 1 Assessment Arrangements) (England) Order 2004, as amended. This Order is made under section 87 of the Education Act 2002. This document gives full effect to, or otherwise supplements, the provisions made by the Order and as such has effect as if made by the Order. The Order can be viewed on the government’s legislation archive.

The ARA also contains guidance and information that does not form part of the law.

11.2 Application of ARA to different types of school

This section details how the ARA applies to different types of school.

Maintained schools

The ARA applies to maintained schools, including maintained special schools, with pupils in KS1. There are different arrangements for maintained hospital schools (see below).

Maintained schools and LAs have a statutory duty to ensure that provision is made to meet the special educational needs of their pupils. Access arrangements guidance will be published on GOV.UK and will provide detailed information about the adjustments available so pupils can access the phonics screening check and the KS1 tests.

Maintained nursery schools

Maintained nursery schools with pupils who will reach the age of 6 before the end of the school year must administer the phonics screening check.

Academies and free schools in England

All references to academies include free schools, as in law they are academies. The following information also applies to alternative provision (AP) academies.

An academy’s funding agreement may say that they will follow guidance issued by the Secretary of State in relation to assessments of pupils’ performance. If so, they must comply with the ARA. The KS1 assessment and reporting arrangements are only applicable if they provide education to pupils at this stage of learning.

Academies are not required to follow the national curriculum. They need to teach a broad and balanced curriculum which, as a term of their funding agreement, includes English, mathematics and science. (For AP academies, this only includes English and mathematics.)

The funding agreement means that they must comply with statutory assessments on the same basis as maintained schools.

They must make provision to meet the special educational needs of their pupils, according to the requirements set out in their funding agreement. Access arrangements guidance will be published on GOV.UK and will provide detailed information about the adjustments available so pupils can access the phonics screening check and the KS1 tests.

Academies should have arrangements for monitoring of the KS1 national curriculum assessments, with their chosen LA, in place and have informed STA by the end of the autumn term.

Academy trusts must make sure their academies have complied with the moderation, monitoring and data submission requirements in this publication.

Independent schools in England

Independent schools in England may take part in the assessment and reporting arrangements for 1 or more subjects at the end of KS1, although they are not required to do so.

Independent schools who want to participate in the tests will need to place a test order for the KS1 tests by Friday 27 November and must follow the arrangements in this ARA.

Participating independent schools must confirm their intent to issue a privacy notice to the parents of pupils who are going to participate in any tests. They must gain approval from the parents of each participating pupil before the school places a test order on the NCA tools website.

Independent schools can’t formally administer the phonics screening check. The 2016 materials will be available to download in June, once the check administration window has closed.

Pupil referral units (PRU) and maintained hospital schools

Pupils studying at a PRU or hospital school but who are on the register of a maintained school or academy, are required to take the phonics screening check and end of KS1 assessments. Their results should be reported by the school where the pupil is registered.

Pupils not on the register of a maintained school or academy that attend a PRU or hospital school are not required to take the check or participate in the end of KS1 assessments. However, they are expected to receive a comparable education to a pupil in a mainstream school. Therefore it is recommended that KS1 assessments form part of their educational provision where appropriate.

Service children’s education (SCE) schools

SCE schools take part in the national curriculum assessment and reporting arrangements in line with the arrangements for administration in England. This includes administering the phonics screening check.

Overseas schools

Overseas schools, which are not SCE schools, cannot formally participate in the check or end of KS1 assessments. They will be able to download the 2016 KS1 test materials in June after the test administration window has closed and the 2016 phonics screening check materials also in June, once the check administration window has closed.

Non-maintained special schools

Non-maintained special schools may take part in the assessment and reporting arrangements at the end of KS1, although they are not required to do so. If they choose to participate they should follow the arrangements in this ARA.

Non-maintained special schools who want to participate in the tests must place a test order for the KS1 tests by Friday 27 November.

They can’t formally administer the phonics screening check although they will be able to download the 2016 check materials in June, once the check administration window has closed.

Home-educated pupils

Pupils who are educated at home cannot participate in the end of KS1 assessments unless they are on the register of a maintained school, academy or other independent school that is participating.

They can only take the phonics screening check if they are registered with a maintained school or academy that is participating in the check.

11.3 Headteachers’ responsibilities

All references to headteachers include acting headteachers or anyone with delegated authority in the absence of the headteacher.

Headteachers at participating schools have a duty to ensure that:

  • the requirements in the ARA are implemented in their school
  • teachers and other staff comply with the assessment and reporting arrangements
  • the deadlines in the ARA are met

These requirements are summarised below. Please refer to the relevant sections of the ARA for further detail.

Phonics screening check

Headteachers at maintained schools and academies must:

  • identify which year 1 pupils should take the check, including any registered at maintained nursery schools who will reach the age of 6 before the end of the school year
  • identify any pupils who should take the check in year 2 because they didn’t take it in year 1
  • identify any pupils in year 2 who should take the check because they did not meet the required standard in year 1
  • ensure that any pupils who did not meet the standard of the check in year 2 continue to receive support in phonics
  • consider whether any pupils will need modified versions of the check and download them from NCA tools during the check period
  • ensure that the security of the check materials is maintained and that the integrity of the check is not compromised
  • ensure their teachers score pupils’ responses accurately and consistently
  • complete and submit the phonics headteacher’s declaration form on the NCA tools website
  • comply with national data submission requirements by submitting their check results to their school’s governing body
  • notify STA of any issues which may have affected the security, integrity or confidentiality of the check

End of key stage 1 tests

Headteachers must:

  • identify which pupils will take the end of KS1 assessments
  • consider whether any pupils will need modified versions of the tests and place a test order by Friday 27 November
  • ensure the tests are administered according to the published guidance during the test window
  • keep all assessment materials secure and treat them as confidential
  • ensure that the specific content of all assessment materials is not used to prepare pupils for the tests
  • ensure that the correct administrative procedures are followed
  • ensure pupils’ responses are marked accurately and consistently
  • complete and submit the KS1 tests headteacher’s declaration form on the NCA tools website
  • where selected, ensure their school administers, marks and returns the required KS1 test in April 2016 to inform the standard setting for the tests
  • notify STA of any issues which may have affected the security, integrity or confidentiality of the tests

Where headteachers do not meet the above responsibilities this could result in the school being investigated for maladministration of the assessments.

Teacher assessment

Headteachers must:

  • ensure accurate standards for English reading, English writing, mathematics and science are recorded for all pupils at the end of KS1
  • ensure their school has an appropriate system to record and submit data to their local authority by Thursday 30 June 2016
  • notify STA of any issues which may have affected the integrity of the teacher assessments

Reporting to parents

What headteachers at maintained schools, including maintained special schools, must report to parents is detailed in section 9 of this guidance.

Keeping and maintaining records

The statutory requirements of headteachers at maintained schools, including maintained special schools for the transfer of records between schools are detailed in section 10 of this ARA.

11.4 Teachers’ responsibilities

Teachers must comply with the provisions of this ARA when carrying out assessment and reporting functions.

Where teachers do not comply with the provisions of this ARA and other published guidance this could result in the school being investigated for maladministration of the assessments.

11.5 Governing bodies’ responsibilities

Governing bodies of maintained schools must carry out their functions to ensure that the KS1 assessments are administered in their school according to this ARA and all other published guidance.

11.6 Academy trusts’ responsibilities

An academy’s funding agreement will usually require the academy trust to ensure that the KS1 assessments are administered in the school according to this ARA and all other published guidance.

Academies must inform STA which local authority they have chosen to monitor and moderate their KS1 national curriculum assessments by the end of the autumn term.

11.7 Local authorities’ responsibilities

LAs must ensure that their maintained schools and any academies, and independent schools which have chosen to participate in the KS1 assessments, administer the statutory assessment and reporting arrangements appropriately. LAs must make arrangements for monitoring the administration of the phonics screening check.

LAs should ensure their schools:

  • understand and follow the statutory requirements set out in this ARA, as well as any funding agreement requirements
  • are offered support on all aspects of the administration of the KS1 assessments and the phonics screening check have an electronic system to submit their data
  • are given instructions on how to submit their data
  • are aware of the need to store all assessment materials securely

LAs will:

  • offer training and advice on all aspects of assessment at KS1, including to any academy trusts that have requested to be part of these assessment arrangements
  • make unannounced monitoring visits for the phonics screening check to at least 10% of their schools before, during and after the check period
  • inform STA of any irregularities in schools’ administration of the KS1 assessments and phonics screening check and discuss steps to take
  • collect results, and quality assure and submit data to the DfE in the required format by 29 July 2016
  • make arrangements for a robust programme of moderation to ensure that their statutory duty in relation to the moderation of KS1 teacher assessment is met