For Academies, Free and Independent Schools.
Phonics Screening Check (PSC)
In July 2020, STA announced that schools will administer a past version of the phonics screening check to year 2 pupils during the second half of the 2020 autumn term. In September, further guidance "Administering the phonics screening check to year 2 pupils in the 2020 autumn term" was published on the GOV.UK website.
- In the 2020/2021 academic year only, it is statutory for schools to administer a past version of the phonics screening check (from 2017, 2018 or 2019) to year 2 pupils during the second half of the 2020 autumn term and return results to the LA.
- Year 2 pupils who do not meet the expected standard in the autumn check will be expected to take the statutory check in June 2021, alongside year 1 pupils.
- LAs should not conduct monitoring visits to schools administering the autumn check.
- Schools must submit phonics results for their year 2 pupils to the LA by Friday 11 December 2020.
Please see the document "Phonics Screening Check Autumn 2020" for essential information for headteachers, available to download from Services for Schools.
Professional development support for phonics and early reading is available from the Education Improvement Service. These opportunities equip leaders and teachers to administer the PSC each year in line with DfE guidance. Courses are available early in the summer term each year once the DfE guidance has been made available. In addition, professional development support for phonics and early reading is available. These opportunities equip leaders, teachers and teaching assistants with expertise to deliver high quality teaching for all, to support accurate diagnostic assessment and to provide targeted ‘catch-up’ support. Further information is available on the Services for Schools website.
Moderation and monitoring services for academies, free and independent schools
The local authority undertakes statutory duties in relation to moderation and monitoring of assessments in line with requirements outlined annually by the DfE and the Standards and Testing Agency (STA). Academies must comply with the requirements of maintained schools for moderation and monitoring of statutory assessments.
All academies (and free schools as in law they are academies) need to nominate a provider for moderation and monitoring services if the new school was created before September 2020. Schools converting to academy status after September 2020 are automatically included in the geographical local authority arrangements for the 2020/2021 assessment cycle.
Please note that moderation of EYFS in academies is an exception to the above in that it is always automatically included in the geographical local authority arrangements.
Upon nominating the local authority as your provider, you will receive moderation and monitoring visits in line with all statutory requirements:
- moderation of end of EYFS assessments at least once every four years
- moderation of end of key stage one teacher assessments at least once every four years
- moderation of Year Six writing teacher assessments at least once every four years
- unannounced monitoring visits to observe administration processes for the phonics screening check
- unannounced monitoring visits to observe administration processes for key stage two SATS
- more frequent visits are arranged if there are teachers new to teaching in Reception, Year Two or in Year Six; if headteachers request moderation; if the school is in an Ofsted category. These visits are also in line with statutory requirements of the DfE.
Please see the document "Moderation and monitoring services" for further information including the cost for this service, available to download from Services for Schools.
All continuous professional development opportunities relating to assessment and moderation for Year 2 and Year 6 can be found on the Services for Schools website.
Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP)
If you require support with the content and administration needed to complete the EYFS profile, please view the online events section of S4S to find out more and reserve a place. These are for EYFS coordinators, NQTs and practitioners new to Reception and will support you to become familiar with the EYFSP Handbook and the National Exemplification Materials.
Remember to sign up to receive weekly updates from the Standards Teaching Agency (STA). These provide information, reminders and deadlines for primary assessment tasks.
For further information please contact:
Nicola Joanne Smith
Senior Adviser for School Improvement
tel: 01629 532736