The Department for Education (DfE) has published its decision about performance measures for infant, first, middle and junior schools, which is exactly what NAHT has been lobbying the DfE for over the past few months.
Last year's consultation on primary assessment asked for views about the most appropriate accountability arrangements for these schools when the reception baseline is established and key stage one (KS1) assessments are made non-statutory. But there was no clear consensus on this issue through the consultation and so the DfE has taken more time to consider the best approach.
Since September 2017, NAHT has held detailed discussions with the DfE pressing that it would be unfair to make KS1 assessments non-statutory for some schools but not others. Another possibility was a statutory baseline assessment for year three pupils in junior schools, and again NAHT made the case against this additional test.
First and infant schools
The DfE has confirmed that KS1 assessments will be made non-statutory for first and infant schools at the same time they are made non-statutory for all-through primaries. However, all schools with a reception year, including infant and first schools, will have a statutory responsibility to administer the new reception baseline assessment when it is introduced.
In terms of the performance measures published, there will not be any change, and first and infant schools will continue to be responsible for demonstrating the progress their pupils have made to Ofsted and those with an interest in school performance.
Middle and junior schools
The DfE has confirmed that after KS1 assessments have become non-statutory, middle and junior schools will be in a similar position to infant and first schools, in which they will have responsibility for evidencing progress based on their assessment information. Key stage two attainment information will continue to be available for middle and junior schools.
Until the measures based on the new reception baseline are available for all-through primary schools, the DfE will continue to publish progress measures for middle and junior schools.
First published 24 April 2018