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Early Years – Baseline Tests

In order to improve the way in which pupils progress at primary school, the Government is introducing new baseline testing. This means that all children will be assessed at the beginning of their reception year.

A score will be collected for each child following the assessment, but it will not be used it to track individual pupil progress.

The purpose of the reception baseline is to provide a score for each pupil at the start of reception. When pupils reach the end of key stage 2, the reception baseline score will then be used to calculate how much progress they have made compared to others with the same starting point. A school’s measure of progress will be the average progress made by its pupils.

The reception baseline will be part of teachers’ broader assessments of children’s development, which will be wider than any single baseline assessment can accurately capture.

How the baseline score will be used to measure primary schools’ progress

From the 2016 reception cohort onwards, the reception baseline assessment will be the only measure that is used as the starting point for measuring progress to the end of key stage 2. Schools will be held to account at the end of key stage 2 by the attainment of their pupils and the progress they have made.

When pupils who have taken the reception baseline reach the end of key stage 2, their score will be compared on the key stage 2 tests with other pupils who achieved the same score on the same reception baseline. This score will be used as a comparison for all pupils in a school, to produce the progress measure for the school. Pupils in a school do not need to have taken the same reception baseline in order to be included in the measure, as the comparison will be national.

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