Teacher assessment moderation: standardisation and training process

Information for local authorities on training and standardisation for moderators of key stage 1 and 2 English writing in 2018 to 2019.

Standardisation provides schools with assurance that local authority (LA) moderation teams have the required knowledge to undertake moderation of key stage 1 (KS1) and key stage 2 (KS2) English writing teacher assessment (TA). It ensures the consistency and accuracy of TA and its moderation across England.

The process also ensures that TA moderators are familiar with the KS1 English writing framework and the KS2 English writing framework, for use in the 2018 to 2019 academic year.

LAs are required to moderate at least 25% of maintained schools, and 25% of those academies and participating independent schools that opt to be included in that LA’s external moderation process.

TA moderation training events

In readiness for the 2019 test cycle, STA will be hosting a number of TA moderation training events for LAs during October 2018. These events will focus on making secure TA judgements in either KS1 or KS2 English writing.

We have allocated each LA 3 places for training, at each key stage. STA would expect this to include the moderation manager and up to 2 lead moderators. For large LAs with more than 200 schools, an additional place may be booked if required.

Independent education consultants (moderation), who wish to attend an LA moderator training event, are requested to contact an LA they work with, in order to agree to attend on their behalf.

LA moderation managers have been sent a link to book their attendees onto these events.

Standardisation exercise

LA moderation managers and/or lead moderators must complete a standardisation exercise following attendance at a KS1 or KS2 moderator training event.

On successful completion of the exercise, LA moderation managers or lead moderators will cascade the training to all moderators within their LA. LA moderators must then undertake a paper based standardisation exercise, supervised by the LA.

All materials from the TA moderation training events, including slides and accompanying materials, will be available for LAs and schools to download from NCA tools. If LA moderators choose to use these materials for training, they must not be changed or adapted. We recommend that LAs deliver their training to their moderators, and then moderators complete the standardisation exercise on separate days.

Details of the full process for the standardisation exercises, which must be successfully completed, are included in the timeline below.

STA will issue approval letters to successful moderators following each standardisation exercise. Only those who successfully complete an exercise will be approved to moderate English writing in 2019.

TA standardisation and training timeline

Moderation managers and/or lead moderators

Activities Dates
Regional training events for moderation managers/lead moderators. October 2018
Completion period for standardisation exercise 1 for moderation managers/lead moderators. Monday 5 to Friday 9 November 2018
Commentaries for standardisation exercise 1 sent to LA moderation managers and strategic leads. Friday 16 November 2018
Approval letters sent to successful moderation managers/lead moderators. Friday 23 November 2018
Materials from the events made available to LAs and schools on NCA tools. Monday 19 November 2018

LA pool moderators

Activities Dates
Registration period for pool moderators. Monday 1 October to Friday 30 November 2018
Standardisation exercise 2 for pool moderators (and any moderation managers/lead moderators who did not successfully complete standardisation exercise 1). Monday 10 December to Friday 14 December 2018
Moderation leads return collated exercise responses. Wednesday 19 December 2018
Commentaries for standardisation exercise 2 sent to moderation managers. Friday 21 December 2018
Approval letters sent to successful moderators. Friday 4 January 2019
Standardisation exercise 3 for pool moderators who did not successfully complete standardisation exercise 2. Monday 14 January to Friday 18 January 2019
Moderation leads return collated exercise responses. Wednesday 23 January 2019
Commentaries for standardisation exercise 3 sent to moderation managers. Friday 25 January 2019
Approval letters sent to successful moderators. Friday 1 February 2019


If you have any queries about LA moderation, or moderator training and standardisation, please contact the national curriculum assessments helpline on 0300 303 3013 or email

Published 7 September 2018
Last updated 15 October 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated dates to confirm when approval to moderate letters will be issued.
  2. First published.