The Department for Education has published, on 14 September 2017, the government’s response to the ‘Primary assessment in England’ public consultation. Details are set out in a statement made to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening.

The response confirms the government’s intention to establish a settled, trusted primary assessment system for the long term, and specifically to:

  • move to a more flexible approach of assessing English writing from the 2017 to 2018 academic year onwards
  • change the starting point for primary school progress measures to the reception year  - with a new statutory assessment to be introduced in reception from 2020
  • remove statutory end of key stage 1 assessments once the reception baseline assessment has become fully established, from 2023
  • remove the duty for teachers to assess pupils against statutory reading and mathematics frameworks at the end of key stage 2 from the 2018 to 2019 academic year onwards
  • improve the early years foundation stage profile by clarifying the descriptors underpinning the Early Learning Goals and reviewing supporting guidance
  • introduce an online multiplication tables check to be taken by pupils at the end of year 4 from the 2019 to 2020 academic year

The government has also published today its response to the parallel consultation on the recommendations of the Rochford Review of assessment arrangements for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests.

We are very grateful to everyone who took the time to respond to these consultations.

If you have any queries, please contact the assessment policy team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the Rochford Review team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The DfE have today (13 September 2017) published the September 2017 edition of their SEND Newsletter

Also sent out this month is a letter from Robert Goodwill MP (Minister of State for Children and Families) to Directors of Children's Services about the transition to the new system of special educational needa and disabilities.

The following documents are available:

The DfE have today published their latest figures on SEND:

The DfE SEND Newsletter for July 2017 is available in the document library:

Available document:

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, moved few ministers in the traditional post-election reshuffle but was forced to act when Edward Timpson, who had held office in the Department since 2012, lost his Crewe and Nantwich seat to Labour’s Laura Smith.

Robert Goodwill has previously served in junior ministerial roles at the Home Office and Department for Transport, as a whip, and as a Member of the European Parliament. He is a farmer by trade and holds a degree in Agriculture from Newcastle University.

The new minister will have responsibility for early years, social mobility, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), as well as children's social care. However, School Standards Minister Nick Gibb has assumed responsibility for mental health and bullying, and John (Lord) Nash has taken control of alternative provision.

In a statement on his website, Goodwill said: ‘As a constituency MP, I've already spent a lot of time working with families, working with schools. I understand some of the problems, particularly in some of the more deprived areas. Certainly, my experiences in Scarborough and Whitby will be very useful for me, particularly as Scarborough's going to be one of the 'Opportunity Areas', with more money going in to help with some of the social problems.’

Elsewhere in the Department for Education, Justine Greening keeps her role as Secretary of State, and Ann Milton becomes Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, replacing Robert Halfon. Jo Johnson joins Nick Gibb and Lord Nash in keeping his junior role, whilst Caroline Dinenage’s previous role has not been continued as she moves to the Department for Work and Pensions.

The DfE updated their information on P Scale descriptors on 2nd June 2017:


This data from DfE has been published today, 25th May 2017.

 The headline messages are;
 The number of children and young people with new EHC plans made during the 2016 calendar year has seen an increase of 8,171 (29.3%) when compared against the combined number of children and young people with statements and EHC plans made during 2015. 
 Children and young people receiving provision in mainstream schools accounted for the largest percentage of children and young people on roll at an establishment with EHC plans made in the 2016 calendar year (63.3%).

The Department for Work and Pensions has updated their guidance to help and support for young disabled people to find and stay in work. It can be found through this link: