7th April 2016

Following a comparability study, the Department for Education (DfE) have announced that the different reception baseline assessments are not sufficiently comparable with each other to be used as the starting point from which to measure pupils’ progress. As a result the data from the administration in academic year 2015/16 will not be used as the baseline for progress measures.

The DfE will continue to provide funding for a reception baseline assessment and encourage schools to participate. Whilst the 2016/17 data will not be used for accountability purposes, the DfE remain committed to the use of assessment in reception. CEM will continue to offer BASE to schools for 2016/17 and beyond.

Director of CEM, Professor Rob Coe, explains: “We will continue to offer our BASE assessment to schools for the same reasons that we always have: that it provides valuable and unique information for teachers, complementing teacher observations, that can help them to support children’s learning more effectively.

I really hope that all the schools who used BASE last year will want to use it again, together with many more who have heard how good it is. The Department for Education is still encouraging schools to do this, and will still provide funding for a baseline assessment, as last year. We know from working with thousands of schools across the UK that there is a big demand for a baseline assessment in the first year of school, so we hope that schools in England will continue to engage with this.”

Research has shown that the use of standardised assessments complements teacher judgement with objective information to inform learning activity for children and the progress made in reception. CEM’s evidence-based reception baseline assessments has been used for over 25 years – with over 3.6 million assessments carried out in over 70 countries.


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