Schools' assessment and performance

The Department for Education instructs schools to conduct set assessments and tests. These are done at various points during a pupil’s time at school and college. This is so that we can fairly assess their progress and attainment standards.

This framework of testing and assessment is really useful. It 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.

Your child should achieve at least the expected level. This means they can be defined as having a good level of development. This is within the following early learning goals:

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

Key Stage 1 (primary age 5 to 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. These are reading, writing and maths 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 maths.

Key Stage 4 (secondary age 14 to 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 figures for KS4 and KS5 pupils.

Key Stage 5 (age 16 to 18)

At Key Stage 5, attainment is measured by level 3 qualifications. These are 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.

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

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

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