What is the reception baseline assessment?

The reception baseline assessment is a short and simple check of a child’s early literacy, communication, language and maths skills when they begin school. It will be piloted in some schools from September 2019.

The assessment will form the start of a new measure of how schools are helping their pupils to progress between reception and year 6.

Your child does not need to prepare. There is no pass mark or score and your child should not realise they’re doing an assessment.

Many schools already do a similar check so the teacher can understand the needs of their pupils when they arrive at school.

  • During a 20-minute one-to-one session with their teacher or teaching assistant, your child will do a number of practical and interactive tasks.
  • Your child can answer questions verbally or by pointing or moving objects.
  • The assessment has been designed to be inclusive and there are modified materials available – this means it is also accessible to children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) or English as a second language.
  • The teacher may pause and restart the check if they feel a child is distracted.
  • The tasks are carefully designed to check early maths and early literacy, communication and language skills.
  • You do not need to do anything. Your child is unlikely to even know that they are doing an assessment when they are completing the tasks.
  • Some schools in England will pilot it in the first 6 weeks of reception from September 2019.
  • The assessment is planned to start in all state-funded primary schools in England in 2020. The end of key stage 1 assessments in year 2 will then be removed from September 2022.
  • The assessment provides a better starting point to measure the progress a school makes with their pupils throughout their whole time at primary school, between reception and year 6.
  • Parents will be able to see how well the school is supporting its pupils. It will also help teachers get to know their new class when they start school.
  • The results will be used at school level to measure the progress of the year group from primary education to year 6. Individual results or scores for each child are not kept.
  • Teachers will receive a series of short, narrative statements on how each child did to help them plan teaching and learning in the first term of school. There will be no published score.

For more information

Speak to your child’s school to find out if they are taking part in the pilot from September 2019.