Press release

NFER releases new generation of optional tests

25 February 2013

Today (25 February 2013) sees the official release of the new NFER tests in reading and mathematics for pupils in years 3, 4 and 5. The tests are now available for use in classrooms this academic year – and the reaction from schools has been very positive.

NFER tests have been developed in response to calls from schools for an up-to-date alternative to existing optional assessments.

Developed over 15 months, including a full-scale standardisation trial with over 80 schools and nearly 6000 pupils taking 11,000 tests, these new tests mark the educational charity’s return to creating and publishing tests under its own name. And schools that took part in the trialling have hailed them as ‘a fantastic development’ that ‘… give a true and accurate reflection of pupils’ abilities’.

Liz Twist, Head of the Centre for Assessment at NFER, whose team developed the tests, said: “Schools were telling us that they wanted something different, so we devised our own model for some new tests based on years of experience of what works and what teachers find useful when it comes to assessment, building in features to look at the strengths and weaknesses of individual children and linking the tests to current standards.

“To have our new NFER tests so warmly welcomed by schools is testament to the hard work that the team at NFER has put in to make sure they fulfil the need identified by schools.”

NFER Chief Executive, Sue Rossiter, added: “As well as being a major provider of authoritative and independent educational research, it is important to NFER to provide schools with high quality products and services that enable them to gather and use evidence themselves to improve their support for learners. These new tests extend our portfolio of such products and any surplus generated will support further research such as our work on reducing pupils’ disengagement from learning.”

For more information about NFER tests: /ntfp


Contact information: Sarah Fleming, NFER Media & Communications Officer: 01753 637155; or Jane Parrack, NFER Marketing & Communications Manager: 01753 637245;

Note to Editors:
The NFER is the UK’s largest independent provider of research, assessment and information services for education, training and children’s services. During the 1990s NFER did publish tests in their own right through the NFER-Nelson publishing company. However, this was taken over by Granada Learning in 2000 and since then NFER has created tests under contract for other bodies.