Teacher assessment moderation: standardisation and training process

Information for local authorities on training and standardisation for moderators of key stages 1 and 2 English writing.

This guidance was withdrawn on

This page has not been updated in light of coronavirus (COVID-19). LA moderation managers will be contacted directly regarding details for 2021 standardisation and moderation.

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 and KS2 English writing frameworks for use in the 2019 to 2020 academic year.

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

Moderation training events

In readiness for the 2020 test cycle, STA will be hosting a number of TA moderation training events for LAs during September and October 2019. 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. We recommend this includes the moderation manager and up to 2 lead moderators. For larger LAs with more than 200 schools, an additional place may be booked if required.

If you are an independent education consultant, who moderates on behalf of LAs, and you wish to attend a training event, you should contact an LA that you work with in order to agree to attend on their behalf.

LA moderation managers will automatically receive a link to book their attendees onto these events.

Location KS1 KS2
Birmingham 30 September 1 October
London 7 and 8 October 9 and 10 October
Manchester 14 October 15 October
Bristol 16 October 17 October

Standardisation exercise

LA moderation managers and 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. Moderators must then undertake a paper-based standardisation exercise, invigilated by the LA.

All materials from the training events, including slides and accompanying materials, will be available for LAs and schools to download from the Primary Assessment Gateway. 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 exercises, which must be successfully completed, are included in the timeline below.

Only those who successfully complete an exercise will be approved to moderate English writing in 2020.

Standardisation and training timeline

Moderation managers and/or lead moderators

Activities Dates
Regional training events for moderation managers/lead moderators. September and October 2019
Completion period for standardisation exercise 1 for moderation managers/lead moderators. Monday 4 to Friday 8 November 2019
Commentaries for exercise 1 sent to LA moderation managers and strategic leads. Friday 15 November 2019
Materials from the events made available to LAs and schools on the Primary Assessment Gateway. Monday 18 November 2019

LA pool moderators

Activities Dates
Standardisation exercise 2 for pool moderators (and any moderation managers/lead moderators who did not successfully complete exercise 1). Monday 9 December to Friday 13 December 2019
Moderation leads return collated exercise responses. Wednesday 18 December 2019
Commentaries for exercise 2 sent to moderation managers. Friday 20 December 2019
Standardisation exercise 3 for pool moderators who did not successfully complete exercise 2. Monday 13 January to Friday 17 January 2020
Moderation leads return collated exercise responses. Wednesday 22 January 2020
Commentaries for standardisation exercise 3 sent to moderation managers. Friday 24 January 2020


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 20 May 2019 + show all updates
  1. Changes to standardisation training event and exercise dates for the 2019/20 test cycle. Updates to allow LAs to plan for the standardisation activities.

  2. Updated dates to confirm when approval to moderate letters will be issued.

  3. First published.