Schools' assessment and performance

The Department for Education instructs schools to conduct statutory assessments and tests at various points during a pupil’s education so that we can fairly assess their progress and attainment standards.

This framework of testing and assessment allows progress and standards to be compared nationally across each of the following key stages.

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (pre-school)

Your child’s learning will be assessed at the end of their reception year.  This assessment will cover 17 different areas of learning.

To be defined as having a good level of development, your child has to achieve at least the expected level in the following early learning goals:

  • the prime areas of learning of communication and language, physical development, and personal, social and emotional development.
  • the specific areas of mathematics and literacy.

Key Stage 1 (primary age 5-7)

Your child’s reading will be assessed in Year 1 and their development of phonics assessed at the end of Year 1 (age 6).

Further assessments of attainment will take place at the end of Year 2 when your child is seven. These assessments cover the core subjects of reading, writing and mathematics and are based on teacher assessments of work in class.

Key Stage 2 (primary age 11)

The next assessment of attainment takes place at the end of Year 6 when your child is 11.  These tests cover the core subjects of reading and writing and mathematics.

Key Stage 4 (secondary age 14-16)

Attainment at Key Stage 4 is measured by level 2 qualifications issued by accredited national examining bodies.  These include GCSEs, GNVQ and BTech qualifications.

These are the DfE destination figures for KS4 and KS5 pupils.

Key Stage 5 (age 16-18)

At Key Stage 5, attainment is measured by level 3 qualifications issued by accredited national examining bodies, including A and AS level, NVQ and BTech qualifications.

Where to find schools’ results

All schools have a duty to report pupil results and progress to parents and guardians. We won’t divulge these results under any circumstance.

You can find the nationally reported results for every school on the DfE School and College Achievement and Attainment Tables website.

School Ofsted Inspection Reports, which include the attainment standards achieved at a particular school, are available from the Ofsted website.

Related links