Updates on Key Stage Assessments
We emailed you in June 2023 to confirm that end of key stage 1 (KS1) assessments are no longer statutory from the academic year 2023 to 2024 onwards.
We are, however, continuing to develop and supply materials for optional end of KS1 tests. These will include optional tests of English reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling and mathematics. We will also continue to make the end of KS1 teacher assessment frameworks available for optional use.
The aim of the optional assessments is to give schools access to test papers to assist the measurement of pupil achievement and to help identify where pupils need additional support as they transition into key stage 2. The tests can also be used to inform teacher assessment judgements, using the optional teacher assessment frameworks.
The Government encourages schools to administer the optional tests and teacher assessments, but there is no requirement to use these or report results to parents or local authorities, and they will not be used for school accountability purposes.
Maintained schools and academies do not need to place a test order for standard versions of the optional KS1 tests. They will automatically receive paper copies of the standard English reading, mathematics and English grammar and punctuation and spelling (GPS) tests. Previously, GPS was available only for download, but it will be included and supplied unless you decline to receive all materials. We will calculate the quantities required based on school census data. However, schools should order modified tests by Friday 17 November on the Primary Assessment Gateway (PAG), if required.
Schools who do not use the optional tests and teacher assessments do not have to report this to us. However, if maintained schools and academies do not wish to receive paper copies of any of the KS1 tests, they can decline them on the PAG from Monday 16 October until Friday 17 November. Note that schools cannot decline individual subjects. Schools who decline test materials will still be able to download them from the PAG from Wednesday 1 May.
We have published the following guidance documents today, Wednesday 11 October, to support schools who wish to administer the optional tests and assessments to their pupils:
- Optional KS1 tests guidance
- Optional KS1 teacher assessment guidance
- Optional KS1 access arrangements guidance
If schools have any questions about the guidance, or the optional tests or assessments, they can contact the national curriculum assessments helpline on 0300 303 3013 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.