Q: With the final report of The Rochford Review now being published, what are the main messages for our SEN department?

Published: Monday, 16 January 2017

The Rochford Review was established in 2015 to consider how pupils working below the standard of statutory testing arrangements can show their attainment and progress. Interim recommendations were published in December 2015, which included pre-key stage standards that could be used by teachers. As you point out, the final report is now available and is essential reading for your SENCo.

Perhaps the main headline from the review is that it recommends that P scales should no longer be used and that a new approach to assessment is needed. Altogether the review includes ten recommendations.

Recommendations for pupils who are working below the standard of national curriculum tests but are engaged in subject-specific learning: 

1. The statutory requirement to assess pupils using P scales will be removed.

2. The interim pre-key stage standards for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests will be made permanent, along with two new additional standards of ‘emerging’ and ‘entry’.

For pupils who have severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties and are not engaged in subject-specific learning:

3. There should only be statutory assessment in the area of cognition and learning.

4. There should be statutory assessment against seven aspects of cognition and learning, including:

  • Responsiveness
  • Curiosity
  • Discovery
  • Anticipation
  • Persistence
  • Initiation
  • Investigation.

5. Schools should make their own arrangements for assessing these according to the needs of pupils.

General recommendations for all groups of pupils include:

6. Improvements in teaching about SEND in ITT and CPD. 

7. Sharing of good practice between schools.

8. Collaboration between schools, including quality assurance, such as through school governance and peer review.

9. There is no requirement to submit assessment data on the seven areas of cognition and learning, but there must be evidence to support dialogue.

10. Further work to consider how to support schools in assessing pupils with EAL.

The report includes principles for assessing the seven indicators of cognition and learning and ‘The pupil can’ statements for pupils working below the test standards at pre-Key Stage 1 and pre-Key Stage 2. Although these are currently recommendations only, you should make sure that your SENCO is aware of them.

Further information

  • The Rochford Review: final report – Review of assessment for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests, STA, October 2016: http://bit.ly/RochfordReview

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