What accountability measures are now used to judge attainment and progress in primary schools for the National Curriculum?

Government response to Primary Assessment consultation published September 2017 and Measuring progress in primary schools: update published April 2018 define the government approach.

NB 2020 results were not published or used for accountability and 2021 assessments were cancelled.  2019 results are to be used instead until test-based results were available.  See: Coronavirus (COVID-19): school and college accountability

See also:

Primary school accountability

Key Stage 2 results 

Key Stage 1 statutory assessment

Key Stage 2 statutory assessment


The School and College Performance Tables website is updated annually.

Until alternatives are in place (2026 -7 at the earliest), the progress standard will be measured from Key Stage 1.

Abolition of floor and coasting standards measures

These were abolished in Dec 19: Primary school accountability in 2019: technical guide stated that “The Government has set out a new support offer for schools that were identified as ‘requires improvement’ in their latest Ofsted report”.


Performance tables will continue when data is available.  Headline performance measures are listed in the technical guide below:

In the KS2 Performance Tables, schools can be compared to similar schools in terms of prior attainment.

The DfE has changed methodology when calculating the school progress score. “We now limit how negative a pupil’s progress score can be when calculating the school average.  These pupils still have large negative scores (to reflect that the pupils have made much less progress than other pupils in the same prior attainment group as them), but the disproportionate effect they have on a school’s score has been reduced”. Primary School Accountability: Technical Guide (page 15)

All schools are required to publish end of Key Stage 2 assessment outcomes on their websites: What maintained schools must publish online.

Infant Schools

Following responses to the primary assessment consultation, the DfE announced in April 2018 that end of KS1 assessments will be non-statutory for first and infant schools, as well as for all through 5-11 schools. This will not apply until children who take the new baseline assessment reach Year 2 (this will be 2022-23 at the earliest.)

The announcement (Measuring progress in primary schools) states that “In terms of the measures published, there will not be any change from the status quo for first and infant schools which do not have progress measures published now.  They will continue to be responsible for demonstrating the progress their pupils have made to Ofsted and those with an interest in school performance”.

This replaces the original plan of new accountability arrangements for infant schools in June 2014 including progress from the reception baseline.  The original announcement is in the following link: New accountability arrangements for infant schools from 2016.

Middle and Junior schools

When pupils who have not taken statutory end of KS1 assessments reach Year 6, progress measures for middle and junior schools will no longer be published.  Until then, (by 2026-7 at the earliest), they will continue to be published.

The DfE states that “We will work with sector representatives and Ofsted before providing further guidance about the types of information that schools could make available to inspectors, ahead of current progress measures being removed.”


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