Best Practice

The new reception baseline assessment

In March 2014, the Department for Education announced plans to introduce a baseline assessment for all children at the start of reception. Catherine Kirkup, from NFER’s Centre for Assessment, answers some of the big questions that schools have been asking

Why is a baseline assessment being introduced?

The introduction of a baseline assessment is integral to the government’s changes to the primary assessment and accountability arrangements, which focus not only on the attainment of pupils but also on the progress that they make within a school.

In order to take account of progress in primary schools more fully, this will be measured from the earliest point at which most children are in a school, i.e. at the start of reception. There will be a list of approved baseline assessment schemes and the scheme providers will forward school and pupil-level data from the assessments to the Department for Education (DfE).

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