Introduced in March 2014, the reception baseline assessment was designed to track the progress of children through primary school. By allocating each child a score in reception, the aim was that primary schools could track how much progress each child had made by the time they reach Key Stage 2. This was to become the official measure of primary school progress by 2022.
A new compatibility study has found, however, that the three providers schools can use for baseline assessments are incompatible, making it difficult to compare schools that use separate providers.
As a result, Key Stage 1 will continue to be used as the starting point to measure pupils' progress to KS2, rather than reception. The DfE outlined that schools can choose to continue using baseline assessments in 2016 and 2017 but the “outcomes from the assessments will not be used for accountability”.
The DfE stated that “over the coming months we will be considering options for improving assessment arrangements in reception beyond 2016 to 2017 and will make an announcement in due course”.