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Curriculum and assessment

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NAHT is working to ensure that the curriculum supports the learning, progress and success of all pupils. NAHT supports the principle that a broad and balanced curriculum promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

NAHT is campaigning to: 

Support schools to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for their pupils

  • Challenge the government policy, including EBacc, which may narrow the curriculum
  • Enable and support schools to successfully deliver statutory Relationships, Sex and Health Education
  • Lobby for improvements to government policy which supports schools to deliver inclusive education and fulfil their responsibilities under the public sector equality duty
  • Support schools to deliver effective careers education for all pupils
  • Support schools to deliver high-quality Religious Education to all pupils
  • Provide guidance, materials and information to support schools in educating pupils about environmental issues.

Ensure a valid and proportionate approach to statutory assessment in primary schools

  • Lobby the government to reconsider the introduction of the multiplication tables check
  • Lobby the government to ensure changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage and Early Learning Goals are appropriate and relevant for the early years sector
  • Influence the development and implementation of the reception baseline assessment
  • Support members to implement the new statutory assessment for pupils with SEND
  • Identify and challenge the STA over any impact on members of the contract change to deliver statutory assessment in the primary phase
  • Engage with the STA to influence changes and improvements to statutory assessment including moderation and maladministration
  • Campaign for KS2 SPAG to be made non-statutory and oppose any additional statutory testing in the primary phase

Ensure the KS4 and KS5 qualification framework and examination system is fit for purpose

  • Press the government, Ofqual and exam boards to ensure that reformed qualifications, both academic and vocational, meet the needs of all pupils and schools
  • Explore the issue of grade reliability, identifying solutions and improvements which are supported by members and pressing the government and Ofqual for appropriate action
  • Inform members of the latest developments in secondary assessment through engagement with Ofqual, JCQ and awarding organisations. 

National reference test 2022 – information for secondary schools

Ofqual has published guidance related to the National Reference Test (NRT) taking place in 2022. The guidance has been created by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) who will be conducting the test on Ofqual's behalf and is aimed at schools that have been selected to take part in the NFT in 2022.

In 2022, the results of the NRT will be used to provide evidence about the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on education for school leaders, exam boards and policy-makers. The results from the 2021 NRT are being used to consider the impact of lost learning during the covid-19 pandemic.

The NRT will take place in schools in a two-week period decided by NFER between 28 February and 8 April 2022. The guidance contains information on what schools should do if the selected dates are not convenient for them.

Selected schools will be asked by NFER to provide the number of students in year 11 who will be aged 16 by 31 August 2022 and who will be entered for either or both GCSE English Language and GCSE Maths in summer 2022. All selected students are expected to take part. Further information on student selection is available on the guidance.

The guidance also contains information regarding:

If you have any questions about the test, you can contact NFER on 01753 637 383 or at NRTkeystage4@nfer.ac.uk.


First published 28 September 2021