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Category: FAQs

Assessments - Frequently Asked Questions & Common Errors

Guidance on determining which pupils to include in the assessment cohort – EYFS, Phonics, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

Contents:

  1. New Starters guidance Recent arrivals on roll - New pupils from overseas or with English as an additional language
  2. Pupils with English as an additional language
  3. Pupils arriving and leaving during test periods/test weeks guidance
  4. Pupils Out of year

SECTION ONE - NEW STARTERS - EYFS, Phonics, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

Includes recent arrivals on roll, pupils from overseas, and pupils arriving or leaving during the spring or summer terms

Recent arrivals on roll

KS2
All pupils who sit the KS2 tests at your school must have teacher assessments submitted.
All pupils working below (B) the standard of the tests must have teacher assessments submitted, using the Pre-key Stage Framework.

Pupils whose performance cannot be established because they have just arrived in school

Schools may not have enough time before the tests to determine a pupil’s abilities or whether they are working at the overall standard of the tests. Where this is the case, the pupil must be registered in the ‘Pupil Registration’ section of NCA tools but should not take the test. They should be marked as ‘J’ (just arrived) on the attendance register.

Examples of pupils who may fit this category include:
• pupils who have arrived in school during the weeks immediately before the tests • pupils who have recently come from a different education system

(If a test is administered to a pupil who has just arrived in school, the pupil should be marked as ‘present’ and their test script must be returned for marking.)

Schools will be able to apply to then remove these newly arrived pupils during the KS2 Tables Checking exercise in September. The DfE will check each request and advise the school of the outcome.

Relevant criteria (from 2018 Tables Checking Guidance)

  • If a pupil joined the school on or since the first day of summer term (for most areas this will be 16 April 2018, but may vary ), then you may apply for them to be removed from our calculations – this may happen automatically if the school they have left has asked to include them in their own figures.
  • If you have recorded the status of a pupil as just arrived on the attendance register and you want to remove the pupil record from your school accountability measures, you must provide details of when the pupil arrived at the school.

KS1
All pupils who sit the KS1 tests at your school must have teacher assessments submitted.

If a pupil is working below the standard of the tests and KS1 Teacher Assessment Frameworks, they must be teacher assessed using the Pre-key Stage Standards.

Phonics

All pupils who sit the Phonics Screening Check at your school must have their score submitted.

EYFS

All pupils who are on roll up to the start of the late May half term should have their EYFS assessments submitted.
Pupils who arrive AFTER 31st May do not need to be submitted in the EYFS assessments. If the pupil has moved from another school, the previous school would have submitted the data.

If a child is going to remain in the EYFS the following year, you would not submit EYFS Profile judgements for them. You only submit Profile judgements if the child is moving into KS1.

New pupils with English as an additional language – general information

KS2

Pupils with EAL must be registered for the KS2 tests even if there is a valid reason why they will not take them.

Schools will be able to apply to then remove these pupils with English as an additional language if they meet the relevant criteria, during the KS2 Tables Checking exercise in September. The DfE will check each request and advise the school of the outcome.

Relevant criteria (from 2018 Tables Checking Guidance)

  • they were admitted to an English school for the first time on, or after, the start of the 2016 to 2017 academic year; and
  • they arrived from overseas prior to their admission; and
  • English is not an official language of the country they came from; and
  • English is not their first language

KS1

Teachers may not be able to provide a full TA judgement for some pupils, for example, if they have recently arrived from overseas or because of long periods of absence. Schools will still need to report a relevant TA code for these pupils when they submit their TA data.

There is no facility to apply to remove these pupils from school data for KS1 – they must be included in the assessment data.

Phonics

Pupils should not take the Phonics check if they have recently moved to the country and are unable to understand letters and sounds in English

EYFS

Teachers may not be able to provide a TA judgement for some pupils, for example, if they have recently arrived from overseas or because of long periods of absence. Schools will need to report TA code ‘A’ for these pupils when they submit their TA data.

There is no facility to apply to remove these pupils from school data for EYFS – they must be included in the assessment data.

SECTION TWO - Pupils with English as an additional language

KS2 - English tests & assessments

If pupils cannot communicate in English, they will be working below the overall standard of the English tests and should not take them. In order to make a TA judgement, these pupils should be assessed using the pre-key stage standards if they are working below the lowest standard in the relevant framework

KS2 - Mathematics tests & assessments

To establish a pupil’s abilities in mathematics, teachers and language support staff should work together to translate national curriculum work into the pupil’s preferred language.
If a pupil is working at the standard of the mathematics tests, the school should consider using access arrangements to enable the pupil to take the tests. Care should be taken to ensure that any translation does not provide additional support or understanding of mathematical terms.
Pupils working below the overall standard of the mathematics tests should not take them. They should be marked as ‘B’ on the attendance register. These pupils should be assessed using the pre-key stage standards

KS1 - English tests & assessments

If pupils cannot communicate in English, they will be working below the overall standard of the English tests and should not take them. In order to make a TA judgement, these pupils should be assessed using the pre-key stage standards

KS1 - Mathematics tests & assessments

To establish a pupil’s abilities in mathematics, teachers and language support staff should work together to translate national curriculum work into the pupil’s preferred language.
If a pupil is working at the standard of the mathematics tests, the school should consider using access arrangements to enable the pupil to take the tests. Care should be taken to ensure that any translation does not provide additional support or understanding of mathematical terms.
Pupils working below the overall standard of the mathematics tests should not take them. These pupils should be assessed using the pre-key stage standards

Phonics tests

Pupils should not take the Phonics check if they have recently moved to the country and are unable to understand letters and sounds in English
Schools must submit data for all pupils including those that should not take the check. Pupils who do not take the check should be marked as ‘D’ (headteacher decided it was inappropriate for the pupil to take the check).

EYFS assessments

Practitioners need to find out as much as they can about a child’s prior language experience and any education they have received elsewhere.

Within the EYFS profile, the ELGs for communication and language, and for literacy, must be assessed in relation to the child’s competency in English. The remaining ELGs may be assessed in the context of any language – including their home language and English.

SECTION THREE - PUPILS WHO LEAVE BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE TEST WEEK/TEST PERIOD – EYFS, PHONICS, KEY STAGE 1 AND KEY STAGE2

Key Stage 2 (unchanged from 2018)
If a pupil sits the Key Stage 2 TESTS at your school, then your school must submit the Teacher Assessments (TA) for that pupil

Examples:

Change of school before KS2 test week
If a pupil changes school before the test week, the receiving school must submit TA data for the pupil.
Change of school during the KS2 test week
If a pupil changes school during the KS2 test week, the school where the pupil was registered at the beginning of the test week must submit TA data for the pupil.
(So, if a pupil joins your school AFTER the tests, you do NOT need to submit the TA for that pupil – the losing school should be submitting the TA for that pupil
Change of school after the KS2 test week
If a pupil changes school after the KS2 test week, the school where the pupil was registered during the KS2 test week must submit TA data for the pupil.

Key Stage 1

If a pupil sits the Key Stage 1 TESTS at your school, then your school must submit the Teacher Assessments (TA) for that pupil

Examples:
Change of school before KS1 test period (updated for 2019)
If a pupil changes school before Tuesday 1st May, or a pupil who has not been as a previous school joins during the test period the receiving school must administer the KS1 tests to the pupil and submit TA data for them.
Change of school during KS1 test period
If a pupil changes school during the KS1 test period in May 2019, the receiving school must find out which tests have already been administered to the pupil and administer any remaining tests. The school where the pupil was registered (on-roll) for the greater number of school days in May should submit TA data for that pupil to the LA.
Change of school after the KS1 test period

  1. If a pupil changes school after Thursday 31st May, the school where the pupil was registered during the KS1 test period must submit TA data.
  2. If a pupil leaves your school BEFORE 31st May 2019 (start of half-term), but has no expectation of starting at the new school until AFTER half-term (e.g. due to house-move, etc), you should still submit assessments for that pupil

Phonics

If a pupil sits the Phonics test at your school, then your school must submit the Phonics results for that pupil.

Examples:

Pupil leaves your school straight after the Phonics test

If a pupil leaves your school straight after the Phonics test, you still need to submit the Phonics test results for that pupil, even though the submission deadline is 3-4 weeks later

Pupil arrives at your school during test week

If a pupil joins your school straight after the Phonics tests, you need to verify with the old school if they sat the Phonics test:

  • If they did sit the test at their old school, then you do NOT need to submit the Phonics test results for that pupil – the losing school should be submitting the results for that pupil
  • If they did NOT sit the test at their old school, then you should administer the Phonics test (but before 21st June), and submit the Phonics test results for that pupil

Last Update: 07/02/2019

EYFS (unchanged from 2018)
If a pupil transfers schools before the summer half-term holiday, the new school/setting must report the pupil results to its LA.
If a pupil transfers schools during the second half of the summer term then the previous school is responsible for reporting to the LA.

Last Update: 07/02/2019

SECTION FOUR - PUPILS OUT OF YEAR

Pupils out of Year - EYFS, Phonics, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

There are specific rules about what to do with pupils who are Out-of-Year – i.e. pupils who are not in the Year Group of their date of birth. Generally, you submit assessments based on the year they are TAUGHT in.

Terminology:
Chronological Year – the Year Group based on the pupil’s date of birth
Year Taught – the Year Group the pupil is actually taught in (regardless of the date of birth)
Held Back – a pupil who is going to repeat a year is described as being Held Back – so NOT

going on to the next Key Stage yet

General Guidelines:

  • You must be sure that the pupil will be held back – you must not miss submitting assessments for them:
  • A pupil must not have two lots of assessments submitted – BUT you must not miss entering a pupil’s assessment. (but see below about Phonics)

Note: If there is a late decision to hold the pupil back for next year, and the assessments have already been submitted – contact the Data Team to discuss if the assessments submitted can be nulled. If they can – then the pupil can be assessed next year. If they can’t be removed – then the pupil can repeat the year next year – but you can NOT submit another set of assessments for them.

Submitting assessments principles

If a pupil is to be held back/is to repeat a year:
• At the end of the year – do NOT submit assessments for the pupil
• At the end of the year held back* – DO submit assessments for the pupil

*If a pupil is going to repeat a year for a third-year contact the LA Data Team for advice
If the pupil was held back - and assessments were submitted in the previous year – do NOT submit assessments again If a pupil IS going to move to the next year, but you are unable to assess them, you can use A – for Absent / unable to Assess (D for Phonics)

Change the MIS

If a pupil is to be held back/is to repeat a year:
Change the year group to the year the pupil is TAUGHT IN (and not their Chronological Year Group This will ensure the pupil shows up in any pupil lists produced by the MIS

Submitting the Assessment Data

Check if the pupil’s assessments are included in the school assessment data:

    • If it has been agreed that the assessments are NOT to be submitted – then you must check

that the pupil’s data is NOT included in your school assessment data file

    • If it has been agreed that the child was to be held back last year (and assessments not

submitted) and is now being assessed in this current year - then you must check that the

pupil’s data IS included in your school assessment data file for this year
The LA provides provisional School Summary Reports for you to check – do check to ensure the right number of pupils have been included in your data file.

Example scenarios:

EYFS (KS1 and KS2 are similar)
A child in Reception year who would be expected to move on to Year 1 (start of KS1) at the end of the year has development issues. The teacher, headteacher and parents agree that the child should stay in Reception year for a further year:

    • This year - do NOT submit EYFS assessments for the child this year – do NOT include the pupil in your assessment data file.
    • Next year – after the pupil has repeated EYFS again, submit the EYFS assessments. (Each year check your School Summary Report to ensure you have the correct number of pupils in your report)

Last Update: 07/02/2019

Phonics

A child in Year 1, who would be expected to move on to Year 2 at the end of the year, has development issues. The teacher, head teacher and parents agree that the child should stay in Year 1 for a further year:

  • This year - do NOT submit a Phonics score for the child this year – do NOT include the pupil in your assessment data file. Next year – after the pupil has repeated Year 1 again, submit the Phonics scores
  • The year after (Year 2) - if the child did not reach the standard at Phonics, then re-test and submit their Phonics score
  • If the Phonics score was submitted in Year 1 (and didn’t reach the standard), and the pupil is then Held Back in Year 1, do NOT submit a Year 2 Phonics re-test score - wait until the pupil is Taught in Year 2 – and then submit the Phonics re-test score. (Do not submit a third Phonics score.) (But be careful of pupils who might “jump” from Taught in Year 1 straight to Year 3 – they will need to be re-tested)

Last Update: 07/02/2019

“End of Year Academic Year Information.”

End of Year Academic Year Information 2019/20

Primary School End of Year Procedures Summary

Primary School End of Year Procedures Detailed.

Secondary School End of Year Procedures Summary

Secondary School End of Year Procedures Detailed

Preparing for 2019/2020 Using Nova-T6 and Options Online to Prepare the Timetable

Independent Junior/Preparatory School End of Year Procedures

Independent Senior School End of Year Procedures

 

Times for Spring Census

Details are required of all classes running at the selected time on census day (17 January 2019). If different parts of the school use different timetable structures, then systems should allow the school to return class information for the timetable structure that applies to Key Stage 1. For example, where lunch is at 12:00 hours for pupils following a primary timetable but at 13:00 hours for pupils following a secondary timetable, then the end of morning school should be taken to be 12:00 hours and not 13:00 hours. The ‘selected time’ is based on the last digit of a school’s departmental establishment number as follows:

2, 3 or 6 – The selected time is one hour after the start of afternoon school.
4, 7, 8 or 9 – The selected time is one hour after the start of morning school.
0, 1 or 5 – The selected time is one hour before the end of morning school.

Where the selected time is not appropriate to the school timetable: where the selected time is when the whole school or a large proportion of the school is in an assembly with the head teacher; schools can choose an hour/period that reflects a ‘normal’ class situation that applies at the selected time each Thursday of the term (see paragraph 2.1). Do not record unusual situations (such as class amalgamation or school closure) which may have occurred on census day due, for example, to staff training or absence, severe weather conditions or religious observances. Any group of pupils receiving instruction outside the normal class framework at the selected time, including pupils in a SEN unit or special class, are treated as a separate ‘class as taught’ unless this is an atypical or temporary arrangement

Product Development for Data Retention

Product Development for Data Retention

Updated with a new video of the bulk student delete process for Autumn

25/09/2018

Notification Updates

25/09/2018: After we packaged the Autumn 2018 release together for the Beta version, we continued further deep integrated testing on the last part of the student delete. This last step is to delete the central Person Record if the student role was the only role that Person had, this is explained in the video below at the point of 3 minutes and 50 seconds. Therefore, for the Autumn 2018 release of SIMS we will still include the last three data domains in the bulk student delete option, but felt it was safer to not deliver in the main customer release the last ‘Delete All Student Data’ option. We raise your awareness to this now as this option is present in the beta but will not be delivered in the release in November. If you need further clarification, please contact paul.featherstone@capita.co.uk.

28/08/2018: We have now completed the development of the bulk student delete routine in SIMS.  This builds on the initial phase which we released in the Summer version of SIMS and now allows for the complete delete of student records.

How will this work?

To help explain the process, I have recorded a video for SIMS customers to review what has been completed.  While the development is complete, we are now working on other GDPR priorities, the team would welcome feedback on the updates.  So please review the video and then provide your comments in the feedback form below.

The Video…

Additional Information

Please feel free to share this video with anyone who will benefit from knowing what new functionality will be available in the Autumn release.  The direct link is: https://youtu.be/w8sp3XFviIM

The developers are now working of some GDPR features to do with PLinks between SIMS and FMS and then will start to relax some of the rules prohibiting users to delete members of staff from SIMS.

Feedback

Knowing what you think about this routine is important, even if it is to know we are doing it right.  Please use the form below to submit your comments.

Connect-Up Support Services GDPR Preperations.

The upcoming changes to the data privacy law are very extensive and daunting to schools.  Connect-Up has continued its approach of producing informed briefings, toolkit focused training courses and hands-on practical workshops, in order to provide the skills your school will need to meet these new complicated and legal requirements from May 2018.

Part of the process that all schools should be doing is to check that companies who process data on your behalf are making the same preparation efforts for the new law that you in school are making.  The majority of companies are simply adding details to their websites (Connect-up are doing this as well) but this requires you to actively search for these.  Connect-Up is trying to make to process simpler by contacting you directly with our standard processor letter which explains the steps we take when processing any from you in a legal and secure manner.  Please click the link below for a copy of our letter.

Connect-Up Processor Letter

Don’t forget that the General Data Protection Regulation comes into force on the 25th of May and that we offer a wide range of training and consultancy on data protection to our schools including

All Staff Briefings

SLT Briefings

Data Lead / Chief Privacy Officer Training

Gatekeepers Training

Progress Check / GAP Analysis Consultancy

If you would like to request further information or discuss your school’s data compliance, please feel free to contact me.

Kindest regards
Peter Brookes
School Compliance Advisor/Statutory Consultant
Connect-Up Support Services

Dealing with School Closures (Enforced Closures)

As a school you may have to make the decision to close school this could be for example if the boiler breaks down or due to adverse weather conditions.

Please read through the guidance information attached to this article on how to record this information within SIMS Attendance. This has to be recorded as an enforced closure.

 

Entering an Enforced School Closure in Sims Document

School Census 2015 Known Errors

This page contains error codes for the January 2015 school census, further details to follow…

 

2170 (New SEN Codes)

With the new SEN codes being updated it has been found that the need types have to be updated as the old codes appear in red.

For example those children on the codes of Behavioural Emotional and Social Difficulties has been replaced with alternative codes and we strongly suggest you check through each child on this codeset.

2020Q  (Pupils taught out of year)

This error is currently being investigated by Capita as it appears this error is triggered for leavers in the previous term.

The Fix for this error will be included in a new Fileset 187.

 

 

How to record school closure due to strike action

Read more