Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA)

From the 2021-2022 academic year, the government introduced a new statutory assessment - the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA). The purpose of this new government assessment is to provide the starting point for a new measure that will help parents understand how well schools support their pupils to progress between Reception and Year 6 / the end of Key Stage 2.

What is the RBA?

The RBA is a short, interactive and practical assessment of your child’s early literacy, communication, language and mathematics skills when they begin school, using materials that most children of your child’s age will be familiar with. It is statutory for all schools in England from September 2021.

What does participating in the RBA mean for my child?

The RBA is not about judging or labelling your child or putting them under any pressure. Your child cannot ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ the assessment. Its main purpose is to create a starting point to measure the progress schools make with their pupils.

 How will the RBA benefit my child?

The RBA will provide an opportunity for your child to have valuable one-to-one time with their teacher at an early stage, so the teacher can get to know your child better. It will provide a helpful snapshot of where your child is when they enter reception, so they can be supported in the most appropriate way.

How will the RBA benefit me as a parent?

When your child reaches the end of Year 6, you will be able to see how well your child’s school has supported the year group in their time at primary school, compared to other schools nationally. This will improve on the current progress measure, which only measures progress between Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, missing out the crucial work schools do between Reception and Year 2 (the end of Key Stage 1).

 How do I prepare my child for the RBA?

You do not need to do anything to prepare your child for the assessment. Your child is unlikely to even know that they are doing an assessment when they are completing the tasks.

 What if my child cannot access the assessment?

Your child will answer questions verbally or by pointing at or moving objects. The assessment has been designed to ensure that it is inclusive and accessible to as many children as possible, including those with special educational needs or disability (SEND) or English as an additional language (EAL). The teacher can pause the assessment at any time if your child needs a break. There are also modified materials available for children with visual and hearing impairments.

How will the data be used?

The data from the assessment will only be used by the Department for Education when your child has reached the end of Year 6, to provide the baseline to measure the progress of your child’s year group from reception to Year 6. The data from the assessment, including numerical scores, is not shared with you, pupils, teachers, or external bodies, including schools, and there will be no published scores at pupil, school or national level. 

Additional information about the Reception Baseline Assessment can be found here.