Year 3 baseline standardisation exercise in reading and mathematics

What is the aim of the standardisation exercise?

In light of the intention to withdraw key stage 1 statutory assessments, the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) is undertaking a standardisation exercise that aims to help schools by providing benchmark information about pupil performance on entry to year 3, linked to pupils’ prior performance. NFER is approaching representative samples of primary schools and also junior schools to take part in the exercise, so that a comparison of statutory key stage 1 and year 3 autumn test results can be made between the two groups of schools. NFER is working with the Junior School Collaboration (JUSCo) in this exercise.

Who is sponsoring NFER to carry out this work?

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) is self-funding this test development project.

How have schools been selected to take part?

NFER has drawn a nationally representative sample of around 500 schools with age-appropriate pupils from across England to take part in the trial. All of the schools drawn in the sample have recently purchased year 3 NFER autumn tests.

What does taking part involve?

We would like schools to administer NFER autumn year 3 tests in reading and in mathematics to their year 3 pupils during the period 17 September to 5 October. Following the administration and the marking of the tests by the teachers we would then like schools to provide NFER with their pupils’ autumn year 3 test scores and also their statutory key stage 1 scaled scores in reading and maths. Schools will be provided with a secure means to provide the scores to NFER securely via our NFER online analysis tool.

How will NFER use and protect the data collected?

All information collected during this exercise will be kept confidential by NFER and no individual or school will be identified in any report. NFER will not disclose names of individuals or schools involved in the exercise, either in any reports arising from the use of this data or in any other way.

Who can be contacted for more information?

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me or my colleague Talwinder Sohal on 01753 637440 or by email to

Read the full privacy notice for this project here.