Children with SEND and SATs – What we know so far! Part 2

Primary School TestsThe 2016 Assessment and reporting arrangements (ARA) for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 were revised in December 2015, their publication coincided with the Interim recommendations from the Rochford Review outlining the reporting arrangements for those pupils who have not completed the relevant key stage programme of study and therefore working below the standard of statutory testing arrangements. This is based on interim guidance which will be for 2016 only.

Key Stage 2

Participation in tests

The tests are designed to be used with all pupils who are working at the standard of the national curriculum. Some pupils working below the ‘expected standard’ and who will not achieve a scaled score of 100 should take the tests. Each teacher should use their knowledge of each pupil to decide whether to administer the tests with them. They may use the sample materials to help inform their decisions.

All pupils who have reached the end of KS2 are included in the calculation of a school’s performance measures, regardless of whether they have been entered for national curriculum tests or dis-applied from the curriculum.

Headteachers should decide whether it is appropriate for each of their pupils to take the tests and explain their school’s decision to parents.

Pupils working below the standard of the tests

Pupils who are assessed as working below the standard of the national curriculum and who are not expected to reach the standard by May 2016 must be registered during the pupil registration period (22nd February – 18th March). They should be marked B on the test attendance register and should not sit the test. Pupils cannot be registered as below the standard of the test for individual components of a test.

For those pupils not entered for the tests, schools should use the interim pre-key stage standards to provide a statutory assessment outcome for the pupil. More information on the pre-key stage standards can be found here.

Please note: The standard of the easiest questions remain the same as on previous tests and therefore if pupils are able to answer the easiest questions they should be entered for the test.

Pupils working at the standard of the tests but who are unable to access them

Schools are responsible for making arrangements to determine whether a pupil is working at the standard of the tests but is unable to access them. These pupils must be registered in the ‘Pupil registration’ section of the NCA tools and marked as T on the test attendance register.

Access arrangements

A small number of pupils will require additional arrangements so they can take part in the KS2 tests. Access arrangements should be based primarily on normal classroom practice for pupils with particular needs. They must never provide an unfair advantage. The support given must not change the test questions and the answers must be the pupils’ own.

Schools must make sure they have documentation to show that a pupil is eligible for access arrangements. This must include evidence that resources are routinely committed to providing this support in the classroom. Schools must be able to show the documentation if they have a monitoring visit. For more information about 2016 access arrangements click here.

Pupils with English as an additional language

Pupils with English as an additional language must be registered for the KS2 tests even if there is a valid reason why they will not take them.

English tests – if pupils cannot communicate in English they will be working below the standard of the English tests and should not take them.

Mathematics tests – teachers should work with language –support staff to translate national curriculum work into the pupil’s preferred language. If the pupil is working at the standard of the tests then the school should use the appropriate access arrangements to support the pupil. If the pupil is working below the standard then they should not take the tests.

Pupils with profound hearing impairment who are unable to access the tests

Pupils with profound hearing loss may not be able to participate in the spelling aspect of the English grammar, punctuation and spelling test. The school should apply for a compensatory mark for the test.

Decisions on participation in the tests

Headteachers don’t need permission when making decisions about participation in the tests.

As part of the decision making process, headteachers should:

  • Discuss the pupil’s circumstances and needs with their parents and teachers
  • If appropriate consult with other professionals such as educational psychologists, medical offers or specialist staff

Once the decision has been made the headteacher should explain the decision to parents and write a report explaining why the pupil should not undertake the tests. A copy of this should be sent to parents and the chair of governing body.

Details of the parents’ right to appeal the decision should be included with the report. If it is believed that a parent will have difficulty accessing the report then appropriate assistance should be offered.

Registering pupils

All pupils must be registered for the tests, regardless of whether they will actually sit them.

Registration opens on Monday 22nd February and closes on Friday 18th March.

2016 Assessment and reporting arrangements


Interim teacher assessment frameworks at the end of KS2


Rochford Review – Interim recommendations