A new Reception baseline assessment is being introduced from September 2015. It is intended to help assess school effectiveness by providing a score for each pupil at the start of Reception. This score will then be used as the basis for an accountability measure of the relative progress of a cohort of pupils through primary school.

Schools will be able to choose from a list of assessments produced by a range of providers. An approved list of assessments will be published early in 2015. From 2016 this will be the only measure used to assess the progress of children entering Reception.

The DfE have now published their requirements for baseline assessments to help assessment developers – this is outlined in the Reception baseline: criteria for potential assessments document.

In summary these are:

  • the content must be age appropriate;
  • most of the content must be clearly linked to the learning and development requirements of the communication and language, literacy and mathematics areas of learning from the EYFS and must demonstrate a clear progression towards the KS1 National Curriculum in English and mathematics;
  • the assessment must be as accessible to at least 99% of children although not all will be able to complete all of it;
  • the assessment must be available in modified formats to support children with SEN and disabilities;
  • the assessment is to be in English only;
  • the assessment must be able to be administered consistently by teachers or teaching assistants;
  • the baseline supplier must carry out external monitoring to quality assure the data;
  • each assessment item must be easy to score;
  • the assessment must report a score for each child on a single scale.

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