New Assessment Framework
Curriculum & Assessment Reform – September 2014
As part of the Government’s reform of the National Curriculum (England) in 2014, the existing system of ‘levels’ used to report children’s attainment and progress was removed and will not be replaced. This system of levels was introduced in 1988 and is now considered obsolete.
The programmes of study within the National Curriculum (NC14) set out expectations at the end of each Key Stage enabling schools to develop a curriculum relevant to their pupils' needs.
Guidance from the Government states that:
The curriculum must include an assessment system, which enables schools to check what pupils have learned and whether they are on track to meet expectations at the end of the Key Stage, and to report regularly to parents.
Key changes to National Curriculum Tests & Assessments
The following changes to the National Curriculum & Assessment is a snapshot of the bigger picture. For more information please visit the Gov.UK website.
Information from Ofsted
Ofsted do not have any predetermined view as to what specific assessment system a school should use. Inspectors’ main interest will be whether the approach adopted by a school is effective. They will be looking to see that it provides accurate information showing the progress pupils are making. The information should be meaningful for pupils, parents and governors.
National measures for tracking progress from 2016
The DfE published a response to the consultation of the NC14, which sets out its plans to introduce a new assessment and accountability system in 2016. The response document gives an overview of the system rather than explaining the exact methodology of the new progress measure.
The DfE publication explains that a reception baseline will be introduced in September 2015. For schools that use this baseline, the Government will report on progress from reception (Foundation Stage 2) to the end of Key Stage 2.
From 2023, Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2 progress will not be reported. If a school is not using the reception baseline from September 2016, it will be judged on an attainment floor standard alone.
What will the floor standards look like?
The DfE explains that from 2016 there will be a primary floor standard with two measures.
A school must meet at least one of these measures in order to meet minimum requirements.
For a primary school to meet the progress floor standard, pupils must make "sufficient progress" in all of reading, writing and mathematics.
For a school to meet the attainment standard, at least 85% of pupils must meet an expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of KS2.
Summary of reforms
New assessments will reflect the more challenging national curriculum. Specifically, the Government will:
The accountability system will reflect the raised expectations of primary schools. The Government will:
What will the new assessments look like?
There will be different approaches to assessment through a child’s education and development, using the most appropriate approach for capturing children’s learning at each stage and to complement on-going teacher assessment:
Key Stage 1
At the end of Key Stage 1, teacher assessment in mathematics and reading will be informed by externally-set, internally-marked tests. There will also be an externally-set test in grammar, punctuation and spelling which will help to inform the teacher assessment of writing. The tests will be updated to reflect the new national curriculum and will be expressed as a scaled score, with the new assessments first taking place in Summer 2016. Teacher assessment of speaking, listening and science will continue.
Key Stage 2
At the end of Key Stage 2, pupils will continue to sit externally-set and marked tests in mathematics, reading, and grammar, punctuation and spelling. These will be used for school performance measures from July 2016 onwards. As now, there will continue to be teacher assessment in mathematics, reading, writing and science to give a broader picture of children’s attainment. In common with Key Stage 1, the tests and assessments will reflect the content of the new curriculum.
A sample of pupils will continue to sit tests in science to give a picture of national performance.