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Recommendation 2

The contents of this page are extracted from our 'The Results of B Squared’s “The Rochford Review: Final Report” Customer Questionnaire' that was first published in January 2017. The document can be downloaded in its entirety by clicking here.

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.

Our findings show that 64% of respondents agreed with this recommendation.

We asked respondents how they felt that the interim pre-key stage standards differed from the old National Curriculum level descriptors. We had a wide range of responses. The examples below represent either common responses or insightful statements:

  • They have raised the bar, which makes it more difficult for SEN pupils to be recognised as achieving well.
  • Technically they are different but the reality is that they don't produce an output that actually has benefit for the pupil. The outcome is invariably the same for virtually our entire cohort. I agree with the principle of it being more universal.
  • They are far too vague, not enough detail for the less able who may be at that level for quite a long time.
  • There seems to be more flexibility and pupil centred feel to the interim assessments.
  • For our pupils, they will nearly all remain as BLW (ie below expected standards) throughout their school lives. This does not reflect their progress, where old level descriptors captured at least some progress.
  • The new 2017 frameworks provide the flexibility needed within a wide diversity specialist setting.
  • I work with teenagers and feel this framework will not suffice the needs of older children.
  • I feel these may not work for pupils working below level 1. Although the old level descriptors may be outdated and not fit for purpose I feel they are useful and achievable for students with SEND.
  • They are skills based and summative, whereas the level descriptors can be used in a more formative capacity that highlights progress.
  • They make the expectations clearer and the language used is less ambiguous.

Although the majority of respondents agreed with this recommendation, there were still a number of concerns which centred on how they will be used. Currently, P Levels are used as part of the on-going formative assessment within a school and as the end of key stage summative assessment that is submitted nationally. The new standards are designed to be used only for summative assessment at the end of the key stage. Schools will need to use a different system for their on-going formative assessment.

We also asked respondents if this recommendation was enacted, would they track progress towards these standards on an on-going basis or would they develop/purchase a separate curriculum tracking tool. This was also split relatively evenly, with 49% said they would track toward the end of key stage standards whereas 51% said they would use a separate curriculum tracking system.

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