Key stage 1 SATs to be replaced this September

From this September, all new primary school pupils will take a new reception baseline assessment (RBA) which will result in the removal of national curriculum assessments (known as SATs) taken at key stage 1 by 2022/23. The RBA consists of a one-to-one exercise done in around 20 minutes by a teacher within the first six weeks of reception and is said to be similar to the ‘on-entry’ checks that many schools already carry out. Nick Gibbs, school standards minister, has said that the “new teacher-led check will replace the SATs taken at the end of Year 2 to give a better understanding of a child’s starting point when they arrive at school and reduce the number of assessments in primary schools overall”.

The Department for Education (DfE) has stressed that “there is no need for teachers or parents to prepare pupils for the assessment” which is said to be reinforced by the fact that the raw scores will not be shared with schools, teachers or parents and that data will only be used to form the progress measure at the end of key stage 2.
The announcement has received mixed views such as from the NEU whose survey with UCL of 1,285 early years and primary school teachers found that 8 out of 10 teachers felt that RBA did not assess pupils’ current levels of attainment accurately. A report by the DfE and NFER however concludes that the assessment is “representative of a range of literary, communication, language and mathematic skills”.