Reception Baseline Assessment

Children starting Reception will begin school with a Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA).

What is the Reception Baseline Assessment?

The reception baseline assessment (RBA) is a simple 20-minute test given to children in reception by their teacher or teaching assistant. The test will take place within six weeks of beginning school.

The RBA aims to measure a child's early maths, literacy, communication and language skills when they begin school. The test is open to schools wishing to adopt it in 2020 and will be mandatory for all schools from September 2021.

Reception Baseline Assessment
Reception Baseline Assessment

What is in the Reception Baseline Assessment?

Your child will be expected to do a number of practical and interactive tasks. They can answer the questions verbally or by pointing at or moving objects.

The assessment is designed to be inclusive with a diverse range of modified materials available. This means that children with SEND or whose first language isn't English are not disadvantaged. If a teacher feels your child is distracted, they are allowed to pause and resume the test.

In March 2019, the Department for Education produced a helpful video for parents.

Can children prepare for the RBA?

No. The reception baseline assessment is an exceptionally basic test and children will only be expected to perform very basic tasks. As such, parents are not expected to coach their children.

The outcome of a child's test is only recorded as a series of short, narrative statements on how they did. Teachers will then use these to help them plan teaching and learning activities for the remainder of the school year. Individual scores are not kept and no scores are ever published.

The ultimate aim of the reception baseline assessment is to compare children's RBAs with their KS2 SATs scores in Year 6.

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