P Scale Assessments

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By Guest Writer
on 13 November, 2016

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The Future of P Scale Assessments

Assessment for SEND

At present, schools continue to grapple with the most effective way to assess and demonstrate the progress of pupils with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND), whether they are working below, or well below the standard of the National Curriculum tests.

We are certainly aware that for those working below the standard of the test, it is recommended that schools use the interim pre-key stage standards. However, the message from schools is that these standards, whilst helpful in providing summary information, fall short of providing SENDCos with materials or processes to undertake detailed assessments that support with tracking pupils’ progress from their starting points.

Rochford Review Recommendations

Recommendations in the Rochford Review (published 19 October) to remove the statutory duty to use P scales may have added further to concerns regarding assessing SEND pupils. SENDCos will likely feel reassured, therefore, that the latest government advice is to continue with P scales in 2017 until further consultation has taken place which will lead to a final decision on this matter.

For those working well below National Curriculum expectations, the P scales have continued to provide a structure, including the small achievable, detailed steps not provided by the pre-key stage standards to assess individual progress. The difficulty then is assessing those children who have achieved P8 on the P scales but do not yet meet National Curriculum expectations. However, despite this challenge, P scales still offer a supportive structure to aid assessment and discussion around this group of learners.

SENDCos continue to seek advice and support in how best to demonstrate good progress for these pupils, reporting for their schools and to parents. In response to this, the One Education Inclusion team have given considerable thought to how to advise colleagues in schools and our SENDCo network meeting will be used as a forum to share ideas and good practice.

For more information about the topics raised in this article, or to find out more about our SENDCo network meetings, contact Jo Gray on 0844 967 1111.

Authored by Anita Coleman.

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