The reception baseline assessment (RBA) is a short and simple check of a child’s early literacy, communication, language and maths skills when they begin school and will be statutory for all schools from September 2021. Some schools will choose to be Early Adopters of the RBA in Autumn 2020.

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.

What is the reception baseline assessment?

What the assessment involves

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 SEND or English as a second language. The teacher may pause and restart the check if they feel a child is distracted.


What the assessment measures

The tasks are carefully designed to check early maths and early literacy, communication and language skills.


What you need to do

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.


When the reception baseline assessment will start

Due to the challenging circumstanced faced by schools in the context of covid-19, the RBA will be optional in autumn 2020. From September 2021, the assessment will be carried out in all state funded primary schools in England.

The assessment can take place at any point in the first six weeks of a child starting reception.

The assessments that children currently take at the end of key stage 1 in year 2 will then be removed when the baseline is fully established.


Why the assessment is being introduced

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.


How the results are used

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.