Education

Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA)

Selaine's response

Primary education is fundamental to ensuring every child receives the best possible start in life. The primary assessment and accountability system plays an important role in ensuring that every child, no matter what their background, benefits from a high-quality primary education. These assessments help ensure great schools are recognised and help to improve those that can learn from others. 

The reception baseline assessment (RBA) will be used to inform the way the Department for Education measures the educational progress that primary schools help their pupils to make. The RBA is not a test. It is a short, teacher-led assessment of children’s communication, language, literacy and early mathematics skills. No preparation will be required, either at home or at school. It will enable the Department for Education to develop improved progress measures which will take into account the work that primary schools do with their pupils in the reception year and throughout the first two years of schooling. Data from the assessment will only be used once children reach the end of primary school, and will not be used to judge, track or label individual pupils.

It is important to note that this assessment will replace existing end-of-key stage 1 tests, which will be made non-mandatory once the new reception baseline has become established. 

I know Ministers appreciate the challenging circumstances schools are facing. The Department for Education is keeping progress towards the reception baseline assessment (RBA) under regular review and gathering feedback from stakeholders on a range of options. Further guidance on the RBA will be provided to schools in the summer term.

June 2020

Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA)

Selaine's response:

Primary education is fundamental to ensuring every child receives the best possible start in life. The primary assessment and accountability system plays an important role in ensuring that every child, no matter what their background, benefits from a

high-quality primary education. These assessments help ensure great schools are recognised and help to improve those that can learn from others. 

The reception baseline assessment (RBA) will be used to inform the way the Department for Education measures the educational progress that primary schools help their pupils to make. The RBA is not a test. It is a short, teacher-led assessment of children’s communication, language, literacy and early mathematics skills. No preparation will be required, either at home or at school. It will enable the Department for Education to develop improved progress measures which will take into account the work that primary schools do with their pupils in the reception year and throughout the first two years of schooling. Data from the assessment will only be used once children reach the end of primary school, and will not be used to judge, track or label individual pupils.

It is important to note that this assessment will replace existing end-of-key stage 1 tests, which will be made non-mandatory once the new reception baseline has become established. 

I know Ministers appreciate the challenging circumstances schools are facing. The Department for Education is keeping progress towards the reception baseline assessment (RBA) under regular review and gathering feedback from stakeholders on a range of options. Further guidance on the RBA will be provided to schools in the summer term.

June 2020

Coronavirus and Free School Meals

Selaine's response:

As you may be aware, the provision for free school meals is ordinarily term time only. However, during the Easter and half term holidays the Department for Education met the costs of the national voucher scheme to provide free school meals for eligible pupils. I welcome that in recognition of the unprecedented situation facing parents this summer, a new Covid Summer Food Fund has been announced. Additional funding will enable children who are eligible for free school meals to claim a 6-week voucher to cover the summer holiday period.

In addition, I welcome that during this challenging period, the eligibility criteria for FSM is temporarily being extended. This includes some groups who have no recourse to public funds. Further details can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/guidance-for-the-temporary-extension-of-free-school-meals-eligibility-to-nrpf-groups.

June 2020