We have been anticipating the introduction of the Reception Baseline Assessment for years. With full implementation finally coming last term, has it lived up to expectations? Suzanne O’Connell speaks to schools and reflects on the choppy past and uncertain future of the controversial test

The prospect of the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) has hovered over us for almost 10 years now.

In 2015 a baseline pilot was held with five possible models to choose from. Following this, three providers were allowed to continue offering their variations. But this initiative was famously abandoned when analysis revealed difficulties with compatibility between the different models.

This perhaps sums up the troubled path of RBA – lack of compatibility was a major issue for a test purely designed to compare! And yet headlines such as What next after the end of Baseline assessment? (Headteacher Update, 2016) did not spell the end of RBA.

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