Changes to statutory assessment codes 2021/22

The 2021/22 academic year sees some important changes to the assessment codes used at the end of key stages 1 and 2 and marks the end of a phased transition in the approach to assessment of pupils with SEND. These changes, that come into force this year, have been delayed due to the pandemic.

The main changes to statutory assessment over the past 4 years centre on the implementation of pre-key stage bands and the removal of P scales. The process concludes this year with the removal of the remaining P scales (1-4). The following table summarises the changes since 2017/18:

Prior to 2018/19, the interim pre-key stage standards were in use and were statutory for pupils working below the standard of the national curriculum assessments. There was one standard at KS1 (PKF) and three standards at KS2 (PKF, PKE, PKG). Pupils that were working below the standards of the pre-key stage received a BLW code and a corresponding P scale. At this point, all P scales (1-8) were in use.

The 2018/19 academic year saw the implementation of the final pre-key stage standards at KS1 and KS2. These new standards replaced the interim pre-key stage bands and the the top half of the P scales (5-8), which meant that only P scales 1-4 remained. The remaining P scales were intended to assess pupils that were not engaged in subject specific study.

The plan was for the new Engagement Model to replace the remaining P scales in 2019/20 but this step has been delayed because of the pandemic. It therefore comes into force this year (2021/22), which means P scales will no longer be used to assess pupils at KS1 and KS2 and any pupil that is working below the standards of the pre-key stage and is not involved in subject specific study must be assessment using the Engagement Model. This will be rare in mainstream settings.

Pupils for whom the Engagement Model applies will receive an EM code. Unlike previous years, no corresponding assessment code will be submitted to the DfE. The BLW code is therefore obsolete.


Another important change this year is the removal of the D code at KS1 and KS2. This code has caused confusion and was often interpreted to indicate disapplication from tests. In fact, its true definition was 'disapplication from the national curriculum', which is a rare occurrence in mainstream settings, and the confusion resulted in misuse of the code.

Valid Codes for 2021/22 academic year

The latest statutory assessment codes have now been set up in Insight, ready for submission and import of results this summer. For a list of valid codes, please refer to section 10.1 of the KS1 and KS2 teacher assessment guidance. The following tables summarise the codes; the guidance provides definitions of each.

There are no teacher assessment codes for pupils working within the standards of the national curriculum assessments in reading and maths at KS2. The requirement for these was withdrawn following the primary assessment consultation in 2017, and assessment of such pupils is based on scaled scores alone.

Codes F and P are to be used only in cases where pupils are not in the expected year group for their age and therefore will be assessed the following year (in cases where the pupil is in a year group below their age) or have already been assessed (in cases where a pupil is in a year group ahead of their age). These will be very rare cases.

We hope this help guide has been useful in explaining the changes in statutory assessment over the last 4 years. Please get in touch if you need any further information.

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