Plans have been announced by Justine Greening, the Education Secretary for the DfE, for a primary assessment system that focuses on pupil progress, mastering literacy and numeracy, and scrapping excessive workload for teachers.

The new primary assessment plans aim to deliver a better foundation for measuring progress and the impact of schools.

There are a number of important announcements in the full document, which you can read here. Please see below a summary of the main announcements:

The Early Years Foundation Stage

EYFS remains, but assessment to be reviewed (pages 5-11). The seven areas within EYFS will remain unchanged as will the number of Early Learning Goals underpinning the framework. However, there will be a review of the number of ELGs assessed at the end of reception as well as a review of the descriptors to bring them more in line with Key Stage 1. Moderation procedures will also be reviewed. Any changes will come into effect from the 2020/21 academic year.

Reception Baseline

New reception baseline is to be introduced from 2020 (pages 12-18). This will be developed, tested and evaluated with a view to introducing it in reception by Autumn 2020, with assessments taking place in the first half of the autumn term. There will be a single supplier for this new assessment. The primary focus of the new assessment will be on skills that can be reliably assessed and which correlate with attainment in English and mathematics at the end of Key Stage 2. The outcomes of the assessments will only be used seven years later to make the progress measure at the end of primary school.  The academic year 2026/27 (current 1 year-olds) will be the first year progress will be measured from Reception rather than KS1. In the interim years, KS1 assessments will continue to be used as the baseline assessment for measuring progress at Key Stage 2.

Key Stage 1 assessment

The KS1 Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling test will remain optional. Optional tests materials will continue to be made available to schools. Statutory Assessment will remain until at least 2023 in order for a year of overlap with the first cohort to be assessed using the Reception baseline. After 2023, tests and statutory teacher assessment will become optional for through primary schools. A decision will be made about progress measures for infant, middle and junior schools by January 2018.

Key Stage 2 assessment

Multiplication tables check will be introduced in 2019/20 for year 4 cohorts. School level data on this won’t be published.

The statutory requirement for schools to report teacher assessment judgements in reading and mathematics will be removed from the academic year 2018-19.

Teacher assessment of English writing will move to a more flexible approach from this academic year. Teachers will have more flexibility in how the make judgements using the teacher assessment frameworks for writing. The revised statutory teacher assessment frameworks have been published and can be accessed here.

Read the full report by the Department for Education.