2016 Key stage 2: assessment and reporting arrangements (ARA)

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Standards and Testing Agency
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Section 13: 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 11 of The Education (National Curriculum) (Key Stage 2 Assessment Arrangements) (England) Order 2003, SI 2003/1038 (as amended). This Order is made under section 87(3) of the Education Act 2002.

This statutory guidance gives full effect to, or otherwise supplements, the provisions made in the Order. As such it has effect as if made by the Order. The Order can be viewed on the government’s legislation archive.

This document also contains guidance and information that does not form part of the law.

If schools have any regulatory concerns that have not been fully addressed by STA in line with the published procedures, these can be raised with the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual).

All information is correct at the time of publishing.

13.2 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 KS2. There are different arrangements for maintained hospital schools (see below).

Maintained schools and local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure that provision is made to meet the special educational needs of their pupils. The access arrangements guidance gives detailed information about the adjustments available for the KS2 tests.

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 and teacher assessments of pupils’ performance. If so, they must comply with the ARA. The KS2 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. The access arrangements guidance gives detailed information about the adjustments available for the KS2 tests.

Monitoring arrangements for KS2 assessments must be in place with academies and their chosen local authority by the end of the autumn term. Academies must also inform STA which LA they have chosen.

The academy trust 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 KS2, although they are not required to do so. Their results will not be reported in the performance tables.

Independent schools who want to participate in the tests will need to place a test order for the KS2 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.

Pupil referral units 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 KS2 tests. Their results should be reported by the school where the pupil is registered.

It is the responsibility of maintained schools and academies to register the pupils for the KS2 tests.

Pupils not on the register of a maintained school or academy that attend a PRU or hospital school are not required to take the tests. However, they are expected to receive a comparable education to a pupil in a mainstream school. Therefore it is recommended that KS2 assessments form part of their educational provision where appropriate.

Service Children’s Education School

SCE schools take part in the national curriculum assessment and reporting arrangements in line with the arrangements for administration in England.

Overseas schools

Overseas schools which are not SCE schools can’t formally participate in the KS2 assessment and reporting arrangements. They will be able to download the 2016 test materials once the test 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 KS2, 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 KS2 tests by Friday 27 November 2015.

Home-educated pupils

Pupils who are educated at home can only take the tests if they are registered with a maintained school, academy or other independent school that is participating in the tests.

13.3 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
  • pupils who have reached the end of the key stage are included in the KS2 assessments

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

Key stage 2 tests

Headteachers must:

  • keep the test materials secure and treat them as confidential before, during and after the test period
  • be able to give an accurate account of everyone with access to test materials before and during the test administration week and up until Friday 20 May
  • ensure that their test administrators are appropriately trained, and that they administer the tests according to the published procedures
  • carry out all tests according to the published timetable, unless STA has approved a timetable variation
  • complete and submit the headteacher’s declaration form on the NCA tools website after all test scripts have been collected for marking
  • co-operate with any monitoring visit requests, including visits by STA or LA representatives
  • notify STA of any incident that may have affected the integrity, security or confidentiality of the tests

Headteachers of maintained schools, independent schools and academies must also note specific, additional responsibilities below.

Headteachers at maintained schools and academies must also:

  • consider whether any pupils will need modified versions of the tests and place a test order by Friday 27 November
  • ensure all pupils are registered for the tests on the ‘Pupil registration’ section of NCA tools by Friday 18 March and that each pupil’s details are complete and accurate
  • register pupils for the tests if they arrive after Friday 18 March

Headteachers must also ensure any pupils who are registered at their school, but are attending a PRU or hospital school, are registered for the tests.

Independent school headteachers must also:

  • issue a privacy notice to the parents of any pupil participating in 1 or more of the tests and receive approval before placing a test order
  • place orders for standard and modified tests on the ‘Test orders’ section of NCA tools by Friday 27 November 2015
  • register all eligible pupils for the tests, by Friday 18 March 2016
  • ensure the tests are only administered to pupils that have been registered

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

If independent schools miss the test orders or pupil registration deadlines they will not be allowed to participate in the tests.

Teacher assessment

Headteachers must:

  • submit teacher assessment data to STA in English reading, English writing, mathematics and science for all pupils at the end of KS2 by Thursday 30 June 2016
  • ensure their school has an appropriate system to record and submit data to STA by the deadline date
  • notify STA of any issues which may have affected the integrity of the teacher assessments

Headteachers at participating independent schools must make sure they submit teacher assessment data to STA for the tests their pupils took part in.

Reporting to parents

What headteachers at maintained schools, including maintained special schools, must report to parents is detailed in section 11 of this ARA.

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 12 of this ARA.

13.4 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.

13.5 Governing bodies’ responsibilities

Governing bodies of maintained schools must carry out their functions to ensure that the KS2 assessments are administered in their school according to this ARA and all other published guidance.

13.6 Academy trusts’ responsibilities

An academy’s funding agreement will usually require the academy trust to ensure that the KS2 assessments are administered in the school according to this ARA and all other published guidance.

Academies must inform STA which LA they have chosen to monitor their KS2 national curriculum assessments by the end of the autumn term.

13.7 Local authorities’ responsibilities

LAs must make sure their maintained schools and any academies that have chosen to be monitored by the LA understand and complete their statutory assessment and reporting arrangements correctly.

LAs must also ensure any academies which have asked to be part of their assessment arrangements are included in their monitoring activity.

LAs should refer to the guidance on their responsibilities relating to moderation of teacher assessment.

LAs will:

  • offer training and advice on all aspects of assessment at KS2
  • view their schools’ applications for early opening of the tests or additional time
  • make unannounced KS2 monitoring visits to at least 10% of their schools before, during and after the test period
  • inform STA of any irregularities in the test administration process or within any school’s submitted TA data and discuss steps to take
  • ensure schools meet the requirements for transferring records between schools, including the completion of the common transfer file as noted in the Pupil Information Regulations, where this has been agreed between a governing body and authority