2024 key stage 1 and key stage 2 STA technical pre-tests

School staff privacy notice
Key dates leaflet
Trial information leaflet
Information for schools

What are the purposes and aims of this trial?

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has been commissioned by the Standards and Testing Agency (STA) to trial test materials for assessment at key stage 1 and key stage 2.

As part of that process, we are asking a number of schools to trial new English reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS), and mathematics tests. The trial is aimed at testing the performance of individual questions rather than the performance of any pupil and means that schools can have confidence that the tests function appropriately for pupils and that the results will be valid and reliable.

More information about your participation in the trial and what it involves for your school can be found  here.

How have schools been selected to take part?

The schools have been randomly selected by STA and make up a nationally representative sample. If your school has been selected, we will have written to your headteacher and if your school is LA maintained or is part of a multi-academy trust (MAT) with more than 5 schools, we will have informed your LA or MAT that your school has been selected.

It is important that all schools that have been selected participate in the trial so that the data from the trial includes pupils from all backgrounds across the whole of England. This means that you can have confidence that future national curriculum tests are accessible by all pupils and not just those with the highest abilities or from more privileged backgrounds.

Is participation in these tests required?

Even though KS1 national curriculum tests are now optional within schools, participation in all these trials is statutory across both key stages. For more information please go to: www.gov.uk/guidance/introduction-of-statutory-participation-in-trialling-of-national-curriculum-tests-from-2016

Along with your selection letter or email you would have also received a copy of a letter from STA with more details about the statutory nature of these trials. If you do not have a copy please contact NFER using the details at the end of these FAQs and someone from the team will be happy to share a copy of this letter with you.

How will my school benefit from being selected for the trials?

Your involvement in this trial is an excellent opportunity for children to practise and for your feedback to be considered in the development of future assessments. Participating children will receive a sticker to acknowledge their help with these trials. Regrettably we are unable to give feedback to the schools who take part in the development of tests. As these trials test the suitability of the questions in some cases this may mean that they are too difficult or too easy and the results the pupils achieve will not be indicative of their actual ability and may be misleading as standalone results.

How will NFER protect the data collected from my school?

The data and scanned images will be maintained as strictly confidential by NFER and will be passed to STA, the Data Controller, for the purposes of informing the analysis of the test results and ensuring that the tests are operating appropriately for all pupils. No individual school or pupil will be identified by NFER or STA in any report arising from the trial. For more details about the use of data for this trial please refer to the privacy notices which are available at the following links:

     Privacy notice for parents (pupil data)
Privacy notice for school staff

Who can you contact for more information?

Our aim is that your experience of taking part in the trial is a positive one and we are on hand to support you throughout if required. Please feel free to contact our team by email with any queries, or if you require further information, on [email protected].