SATs tests to be replaced by new assessments

children taking test

Seven year olds will no longer have to take SATs tests after this year, it has been announced.

Within the plans, SATs tests in reading, writing, maths and science, which are taken by more than half a million students each year, will no longer be statutory.

New government proposals are set to replace SATs with brand-new assessments at the earlier age.

The new teacher assessments of four and five-year-olds will be introduced when they start infant school.

The Department for Education said the assessments aim are to “reduce the burden” on teachers and pupils.

Any new assessment would not come into place before the 2019 to 2020 academic year.

Proposed by the Department for Education (DfE), the baseline assessment will take place at some point during a child’s reception year, but pupils should not know that they are being tested.

Results from the assessments will be used as a marker of children’s abilities at the start of their schooling and be used to measure the progress they have made by age 11, at the end of primary school.


Justine Greening MP, DofE

Justine Greening MP, education secretary, Department for Education said:

The government has reformed the primary school system to make sure children can master the basics of literacy and numeracy so they get the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in later life.

Now we want to build on that by developing a stable assessment system that helps children learn, freeing up teachers to do what they do best: supporting children to fulfil their potential.

SATs tests for seven-year-olds will go ahead this year, with some improvements, including changes to the type and difficulty of questions at the start of the tests.

The improvements ensure children are not discouraged by tough questions early on.

A consultation is currently taking place on the proposals, which include making improvements to the early years foundation stage, which records young children’s progress up to age five.