The Rochford Review: 10 recommendations for statutory assessment in primary education

The independent Rochford Review group has completed its review of the statutory assessment arrangements for pupils at the end of key stages 1 and 2, with the final report setting out 10 recommendations regarding those pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests.

We’ve read the report and collated the recommendations for you below.

The Rochford Review recommends:

1. The removal of the statutory requirement to assess pupils using P scales.

2. That the interim pre-key stage standards for pupils working below the standard of the national curriculum tests are made permanent, and extended to include all pupils engaged in subject-specific learning.

3. The SEND code of practice outlines the following 4 areas of need:

  • cognition and learning
  • communication and interaction
  • social, emotional and mental health
  • sensory and/or physical

The review recommends that schools should assess pupils’ development in all 4 areas, but statutory assessment for pupils who are not engaged in subject-specific learning should be limited to the area of cognition and learning.

4. The review recommends a statutory duty to assess pupils not engaged in subject-specific learning against the following 7 aspects of cognition and learning:

  • responsiveness
  • curiosity
  • discovery
  • anticipation
  • persistence
  • initiation
  • investigation

5. Although the Rochford Review recommends a statutory duty to assess pupils not engaged in subject-specific learning against the 7 aspects of cognition and learning outlined in recommendation 4, schools should be free to decide their own approach to making these assessments according to the curriculum they use and the needs of their pupils.

6. The review recommends that initial teacher training (ITT) and continuing professional development (CPD) should reflect the need for staff working in educational settings to have a greater understanding of assessing pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests, especially those pupils with SEND who are not engaged in subject-specific learning.

7. That where there is demonstrable good practice in schools, those schools should actively share their expertise and practice with other schools and that schools in need of support should actively seek out and create links with schools that can help to support them.

8. The review recognises the importance of schools engaging in research to support good practice. It recommends that schools work collaboratively to develop an understanding of good practice in assessing pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests. This work can often be particularly beneficial when it happens across different types of educational setting. The review further recommends that schools support this work by actively engaging in quality assurance through mechanisms such as school governance and peer review. This will provide appropriate scrutiny and help to support a growing body of evidence and shared understanding of good practice in assessment.

9. There is currently a statutory duty to submit P scales data to the DfE. The review is recommending a statutory duty to assess pupils not engaged in subject specific-learning on the 7 areas of cognition and learning. The review believes that there should be no requirement to submit this assessment information to the DfE, but schools should be required to report the number of pupils working below the pre-key stage standards. In addition schools must be able to provide evidence to support a dialogue with parents and carers, inspectors, school governors and those engaged in peer review to ensure robust and effective accountability for assessing pupils not engaged in subject specific-learning with SEND.

10. The Rochford Review recommends that further work is done to consider the best way to support schools with assessing pupils with EAL.

Click here to read the full report.

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Kathryn Farr - Marketing Assistant

Kathryn is the Marketing Assistant here at Cornerstones, where her role involves updating the blog on the Cornerstones website and looking after Cornerstones' various social media channels.

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