Changes to primary school tests in 2020 and 2021

Primary school testing in 2020 and 2021
Primary schools will see some changes to tests and assessments in the 2020/2021 academic year as a result of ongoing school disruption. We explain what parents need to know about how SATs, the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check, the Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check and the 11+ will be affected.
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In the current climate nothing seems set in stone, but the government has made some adjustments to primary school tests and we're here to help keep you updated and provide the useful information you need to navigate the new world of primary education, post-pandemic. 

Read on for an overview of all the tests and assessments children take in the primary-school years in England, with links to much more detailed guides for parents.

Please note: all information in this article was correct at the time of publishing and will be reviewed regularly, but is subject to change.

Changes to the Reception baseline test in 2020

The Reception Baseline test (also known as the Reception Baseline Assessment) will be delayed until 2021.

Children who start Reception in 2021 will take the RBA during the first six weeks of the autumn term.

Changes to the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check in 2020 and 2021

Schools will administer the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check the week beginning Monday 7 June 2021.

For 2020/21 only, schools will use past versions of the Phonics Screening Check for Year 2 children, which will occur during the second half of the autumn term in 2020. Children who don't reach the expected standard will then take the Screening check in June 2021.

Changes to KS1 SATs in 2021

In March 2020, the Department for Education (DfE) announced the cancellation of school exams in May and June 2020. 

Currently, the DfE intends for KS1 SATs to return to their normal timetable in the 2020/21 academic year. The Year 2 assessments will take place in May 2021. 

Changes to KS2 SATs in 2021

There are no changes to report at this time and the Year 6 KS2 SATs will be administered in the week commencing 10 May 2021. 

Changes to the Year 4 Multiplication Table Check in 2021

The Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) will be administered for children in Year 4, starting in the 2020-21 academic year. The MTC will take place in June 2021.

This is a new test, introduced by DfE as a way to focus on numeracy and a way to determine if children can remember their multiplication tables with ease.  

Changes to the 11+ in 2020

There is a long list of grammar schools in the UK (around 160!) and while some have announced changes to the testing date for September 2020, others have not rescheduled their 11+ testing or have not yet established when a new date will be announced.

With that in mind, we've compiled a region-by-region list of 11+ testing date changes for autumn 2020