Statutory assessments in primary schools

June 2020


Dear Constituent,


Thank you for contacting me about statutory assessments in primary schools. I have read your email carefully and noted the key points that you raise.


Primary education is fundamental to ensuring every child receives the best possible start in life. The primary assessment and accountability system plays an important role in ensuring that every child, no matter what their background or where they go to school, benefits from a high-quality primary education. These assessments help ensure great schools are recognised and help to improve those that can learn from others.


The reception baseline assessment (RBA) will be used to inform the way the Department for Education measures the educational progress that primary schools help their pupils to make. The RBA is not a test. It is a short, teacher-led assessment of children’s communication, language, literacy and early mathematics skills. No preparation will be required, either at home or at school. It will enable the Department for Education to develop improved progress measures which will take into account the work that primary schools do with their pupils in the reception year and throughout the first two years of schooling. Data from the assessment will only be used once children reach the end of primary school, and will not be used to judge, track or label individual pupils.


It is important to note that this assessment will replace existing end-of-key stage 1 tests, which will be made non-mandatory once the new reception baseline has become established.


For more information please see:


I know that Ministers appreciate the challenging circumstances schools are currently facing due to coronavirus. The Department for Education is keeping progress towards the reception baseline assessment (RBA) under regular review and gathering feedback from stakeholders on a range of options. It is my understanding that further guidance on the RBA may well be provided to schools before the end of the summer term.


Thank you again for writing to me.


With best wishes.


Kind regards,


Jonathan Lord MP

Member of Parliament for Woking