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Latest information and updates from the Standards and Testing Agency (STA)

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The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) sets the tests to assess children in education from early years to the end of key stage two. This includes the development and delivery of tests at key stage one and key stage two in the core subjects of English and mathematics, as well as the phonics screening check and, from 2020, the multiplication tables check.

The STA issues weekly assessment updates during term time. You can access these here

A national curriculum assessments calendar is now available, which outlines important dates and deadlines to assist schools in their planning for key stage 1 and key stage 2 assessments during the 2018 to 2019 academic year.

Publication: early years foundation stage profile handbook

The 2019 early years foundation stage (EYFS) profile handbook has been published.

It provides statutory guidance and non-statutory advice to help practitioners complete the EYFS profile and make accurate judgements about each child’s attainment. The guidance has also been aligned with the 2019 teacher assessment guidance for key stage 1 and key stage 2.

Multiplication tables check: update and assessment framework

The STA have published information for primary schools about the development of the multiplication tables check (MTC) to be administered to year 4 pupils from the 2019/20 academic year onwards.

The MTC assessment framework is now available. It provides details on the assessment specification for the multiplication tables check, including the purpose, format, content and cognitive demand of the check.

For questions about the MTC please contact

Key stage 2 national curriculum test review outcomes: 2018

The DfE and the STA have published provisional information on the outcomes of clerical reviews and reviews of marking for the 2018 key stage 2 national curriculum tests in:

  • English reading
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • Mathematics

The published report includes information on review requests and review outcomes.

Early years foundation stage, key stage one and key stage two assessment and reporting arrangements for 2018/19

The STA has published the early years foundation stage, key stage one and key stage two assessment and reporting arrangements (ARAs) for the 2018 to 2019 academic year. See the assessment and reporting arrangements for early years foundation stagekey stage one or key stage two

These ARAs include important dates for 2018/19 and guidance on national curriculum tests, test participation, teacher assessment, and legal requirements and responsibilities.

Primary assessments: information and resources for 2018

For information about primary assessments, the STA has produced a guide to help primary schools and local authorities access their online document collections for early years foundation stage, key stage one and key stage two assessments in 2018.

It will be updated throughout the year to provide information for the 2018 assessment cycle. You can access the guide here

Information for parents: 2018 key stage one and key stage two assessments

The STA has released a new information leaflet and videos aimed at parents of children in years two and six who will be taking national curriculum assessments. These may be useful resources to share with parents or to use during conversations with parents about primary assessments. You can access these here.

Test security guidance

Practical advice about keeping key stage one and key stage two tests and phonics screening check materials secure.

Key stage two tests

Attendance register and test script dispatch

This guidance provides instructions and video guidance for completing attendance registers, returning test scripts for marking and submitting the head teacher's declaration form (HDF).

Key stage 2 tests: how to apply for a timetable variation

The STA has published information about how head teachers can reschedule the key stage two tests. This outlines changes for the 2018/19 academic year, and information on varying test times and moving test dates, as well as the process of applying for approval from STA.

From the 2019 test cycle the requirement has been removed for schools to submit a notification to STA if they are administering a test on the scheduled day in multiple sittings.

Schools must still apply for permission from STA to administer a test on a different day using a timetable application. The application form will be available in the ‘Access arrangements’ section of NCA tools from Monday 28 January.

Test admin and modified admin guidance

The key stage one and key stage two test admin guidance documents include information about planning for the tests, receiving test materials and administering the tests. You can access the key stage one guidance here and the key stage two guidance here.

If you're involved in administering the key stage one and key stage two tests to pupils with hearing or visual impairments, there is modified guidance available; you can access the key stage one here and the key stage two here.

Access arrangements

The STA has published guidance for schools about access arrangements available for pupils participating in 2019 key stage one and key stage two tests.

Some pupils with specific needs may need additional arrangements so they can take part in tests. Access arrangements are adjustments that can be put in place to support those pupils - head teachers and teachers must decide whether any of their pupils will need access arrangements before they administer the tests. Types of support include:

  • Additional time to complete the tests
  • The use of scribes, readers, word processors or other technical or electronic aids
  • Written or oral translations and making transcripts
  • Modifications of test papers and the use of accessibility objects in the mathematics test
  • Compensatory marks for spelling
  • The use of prompts and rest breaks
  • Administering the tests to pupils who are absent on the planned day
  • Administering the tests at an alternative location

Access arrangement guidance for key stage one is available here, while the key stage two guidance is available here

Teacher assessment exemplification materials

STA have published teacher assessment exemplification materials to demonstrate TA judgements in a number of subjects in 2019. These illustrate how the 'pupil can' statements in the frameworks might be met, but do not dictate a particular method of teaching or the evidence expected from the classroom. If teachers are confident in their judgements they may choose not to refer to these materials, which are intended to help teachers make their judgements where they want additional guidance.

Exemplification materials are available below:

There are no major changes from last year’s guidance. However, the requirement has been removed for schools to notify STA if they are administering a KS2 test to a pupil at an alternative location away from school.

The date of the key stage two reading test has changed. It will now take place on the Tuesday of test week, not Monday as in previous years.
Last updated12/12/2018