New reception class check-up pilot

More than 9,600 primary schools have registered to take part in the pilot of the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA), the new 20-minute check that will provide a snapshot of pupils’ development when they start school.

Allowing the removal of Key Stage 1 tests that currently take place at the end of Year 2, the new assessment will also seek to reduce overall workload for schools. Primarily, the change will also mean schools are recognised for the work they do throughout the whole of primary school rather just between Years 2 and 6, as is currently the case.

The pilot will run this September and enable schools to familiarise themselves with the assessment before providing feedback to the Department for Education, ahead of the national roll out in 2020.

Nick Gibb, School Standards Minister, said: “Just like checking a child’s teeth or their eyesight, the reception baseline assessment is a quick check of a child’s early language and ability to count when they start school. It will provide the baseline of primary school progress which is an important check of our school system, providing important information on schools’ performance to make sure all children reach their potential.

“The pilot is an opportunity for schools to familiarise themselves with the format and help us make sure it works for both children and teachers - that’s why it’s so significant that almost 10,000 schools have registered to take part. The assessment will lighten the load for schools, which will no longer have to carry out whole-class assessments at the end of Year 2 or deal with the test papers and administration that comes with that, while also being stress-free for children.”

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