Guide to Assessments for Schools

The Purpose of Assessment

Statutory Assessment

  • To hold schools to account for the work they do with their pupils. To measure both attainment and progress to demonstrate schools’ effectiveness.

Formative Classroom Assessment

  • To inform teaching and learning.  Used diagnostically to evaluate knowledge and understanding, identify gaps and misconceptions and inform lesson planning accordingly.

The means of statutory assessment are determined by the Department. The means of formative assessment are determined by the school in line with curriculum freedoms.

Statutory Assessment

  • KS1 and KS2 new national curriculum tests with outcomes in the form of scaled scores
  • Teacher assessment at KS1 and KS2 using the interim framework for teacher assessment
  • Phonics screening check

Classroom Assessment

  • Determined by the school in line with their curriculum
  • Optional reception baseline

Key Messages of Accountability

  • Strong accountability means high expectations for attainment at primary, so that all pupils leave ready to make a successful start in secondary school
  • But it also means celebrating schools doing well with disadvantaged intakes and challenging those not doing enough with high attaining intakes.
  • Fairer way of measuring progress at school level, comparing pupils with similar starting points

Scaled scores

  • Tests at the end of KS1 and at the end of KS2 will report in scaled scores
  • The expected standard will always be set at 100
  • The standard will be set by the profession – expert panels are involved in the development of all tests created by STA
  • Raw scores in the test will be converted to a scaled score
  • Pupils with 100 or more will have met the expected standard Pupils who score below 100 will not have met the standard
  • Anchor items will link the tests from one year to the next to ensure expected standards are consistent

Interim Framework for Teacher Assessment

  • For English reading, writing and mathematics at KS1 and for writing at KS2, there are 3 standards:
    • Working towards the expected standard
    • Working at the expected standard
    • Working at greater depth within the expected standard
  • For English reading and mathematics at KS 2 and for science, there is one standard (working at the expected standard)
  • Each of the 3 standards within the framework contains a number of ‘pupil can’ statements
  • teachers will need to have evidence that a pupil demonstrates attainment of all of the statements within that standard and all the statements in the preceding standard(s).

Reception Baseline

To enable progress to be measured from when a cohort of children start school

  • A teacher-administered, age-appropriate assessment conducted in the first half-term of a child starting in reception.
  • The reception baseline will measure progress from the start of school to the end of KS2
  • We will conduct a comparability study in autumn 2015

Assessment freedoms

  • At the end of key stages there will be an expected standard set. Between these points it is for schools to decide how best to assess their pupils in a way that best suits their needs.

Schools will be expected to select an assessment approach which:

  • Aligns well with their curriculum
  • Sets out what pupils are expected to know, understand and do, and when
  • Explains pupils’ progress and attainment to parents
  • Can be used to set aspirational targets and wherever possible supports pupils to reach the expected standards

Expert Review of Pupils Working Below the Standard of the National Curriculum Tests

  • Advise on a solution for statutory assessment of pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests;
  • Consider how P-Scales fit with the wider approach to assessment and advise on whether they need to be revised in light of the new national curriculum;
  • Consider the impact of assessment and qualification reform at key stage 4 to ensure continuity and consistency with any proposed changes to assessment of lower-attaining pupils at KS1-3;
  • Consider the wider implications of any recommendations they make, including any professional development needs that might arise.

Accountability reforms: floor standard 

The accountability system reflects the raised expectations of primary schools and recognises the excellent work they do.

In 2016, a school will be below the floor standard if:

  • Fewer than 65% of pupils achieve the expected standard and
  • Pupils fail to make sufficient progress in any of reading, writing and mathematics. 

 A school below the floor is a reason for significant concern which the LA or RSC would investigate. Ofsted may also inspect the school earlier. 

Accountability reforms: school progress measure

  • Progress will now be a value-added measure rather than an ‘expected levels of progress’ measure.
  • A pupil’s KS2 score is measured against the average KS2 score for pupils nationally having the same prior attainment.
  • KS1 baseline is worked out by creating a combined score of all teacher assessment outcomes.
  • Until 2020, the KS1 APS is calculated in the same way but using levels.
  • A school’s progress score will be calculated as the mean average of its pupils’ progress scores, so it will show whether overall pupils make above or below average progress compared to similar pupils in other schools.

For more information and guidance please click here to find information from the Standards and Testing Agency.


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