New approach to assessing pupils with complex disabilities

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Pupils with multiple and complex needs are to be evaluated using a new statutory assessment based on the “aspects of engagement” methodology, which will be rolled-out across the country from 2020.

This new flexible approach will replace P scales 1–4. It will be based on the seven aspects of engagement, focusing on pupils’ abilities and achievements in areas like awareness, curiosity and anticipation. This will allow an assessment of the progress of different kinds of abilities to be made, whereas the P scales that focus on linear progress in attainment on the National Curriculum are not always appropriate for children with complex needs.

It will enable primary schools to make better assessments, and will lead to tailored teaching and provision to meet specific needs. It will complement the new education, health and care plans that focus on the individual child.

School Standards Minister, Nick Gibb, commented: “This is a significant milestone in our drive to make sure every child — even those with the most complex needs — receives the highest standard of education and care.”

Last reviewed 4 December 2018

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