A parents guide to primary testing A parents guide to primary testing

Reception: baseline assessment

What is it?

Your child’s school may be taking part in the government’s pilot of reception baseline assessment.

This is a 20-minute test in maths and English, taking place during the first six weeks of the autumn term. You may not even know that your child’s school is taking part in the pilot.

Your child will be taken away from their friends to sit the test with a teacher using a computer tablet.

You will not be told the results of this test and they won’t help teachers learn anything new about your child. Instead, they will be locked away until pupils finish year 6 and will then be used to judge schools, not to nurture your child’s learning.

It’s wrong to test four-year-olds as soon as they start school and it’s unjust to measure schools in this way.

What do the experts say

What do the experts say?

An open letter to the Department for Education signed by over 700 education experts and academics described the reception baseline assessment as “both pointless and damaging”.

The British Educational Research Association has called the government’s plans “flawed, unjustified and totally unfit for purpose”.

96% of headteachers and other primary school leaders believe that the first few weeks of school should not be spent preparing for tests.

More than four out of five heads believe the assessments will not be fair on children with a summer birthday, those with special educational needs and those without English as a first language.

What can I do

Sign our petition

Sign our petition and help us reach 100,000 signatures.

Download leaflet

Ask your child’s teacher or head if they are participating in the pilot scheme. Even if they have agreed to, they don’t have to go ahead. Print off this leaflet and hand it in to school.

Download letter

If you don’t want your child to take part, write to your school explaining why. You can use this letter as a starting-point.

Learn more

Learn more about baseline.

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