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Changes to primary school assessment for pupils with the most complex needs

Last Updated 05/09/2019

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced that, from 2020, primary school pupils with the most complex needs will have their attainment measured using a new approach better able to reflect their progress. 

A limitation of the ‘P scales’, currently used for all students in all state-funded primary schools, is that they can fail to recognise the varied progress and achievements of pupils with the most complex needs. The new model of assessment will instead look at attainment in the ‘7 aspects of engagement’ including awareness, curiosity and anticipation. This change will allow teachers to better tailor their teaching and provision to meet the needs and goals of individual pupils, allowing them to achieve the best possible outcomes. 

The announcement by the DfE comes following a successful pilot carried out earlier in the year. An expert group will now work to ensure the approach is introduced into all state-funded schools in 2020.

You can read more about the change on the Department for Education website.

The 7 Aspects of Engagement approach was originally developed through a DfE funded project led by Professor Barry Carpenter in 2011. If you are a professional interested in learning more about the approach, a unique opportunity to receive training from Professor Barry Carpenter himself is available from the Westminster Training and Outreach Service. Click here for more information or to book your place.



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