Reception baseline assessment: What schools need to know

On 6th June 2018, the DfE released information about the introduction of the new reception baseline assessment in autumn 2020.

Why is the reception baseline assessment being introduced?

The new assessment will provide a snapshot of where pupils begin when they arrive at school, which will then be used to measure the progress they make by the end of Year 6.


What will it look like?

The reception baseline assessment will be an interactive and practical assessment, lasting approximately 20 minutes.  This will cover:

  • language and communication
  • early mathematics
  • self-regulation (subject to trialling)

There will be no need for children to prepare for this assessment, and in most cases children should not be aware they are being assessed.


How will the results of the reception baseline assessment be used?

As this is a snapshot of where children started in their reception year, children cannot 'pass' or 'fail' the assessment and the results will not be used by the government to track or label individual children.

The government will use the data from the assessment to create a baseline for school-level progress measures, which will be published in summer 2027.


The assessment development process timeline

The National Foundation of Educational Research (NFER) will work with the government to develop the new assessment.

  • April 2018-August 2019 -Developing and trialling the baseline assessment
  • 2019-2020 - National pilot
  • 2020-2021 - Rolled out to all schools in England as a statutory assessment.


The early years foundation stage profile

The early years foundation stage profile will continue as a holistic assessment of an individual child's development to ensure children are prepared for the start of Year 1.

Read the full announcement from the DfE.


baseline assessment, DfE, key stage 1, reception

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