Ready-to-progress criteria: Mapping to NFER Tests

In June 2020, the Department for Education, in conjunction with the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM), released non-statutory guidance designed to “make effective use of the national curriculum to develop primary school pupils’ mastery of mathematics”.

This guidance¹ highlights core concepts from the national curriculum that pupils need to master in order to progress to higher learning within the next curriculum year. It also shows the progression of each skill from year 1 to year 6.

These core skills and concepts are called the “Ready-to-progress (RTP) criteria” and are divided into Number and place value, Number facts, Addition and subtraction, Multiplication and division, Fractions, and Geometry. It is important to note that there is not a discrete RTP criterion for every area in the national curriculum; for example, “measurement and statistics are integrated as applications of number criteria, and elements of measurement that relate to shape are included in the geometry strand”.

To help schools that use the RTP criteria, NFER has:

  • taken the RTP criteria for each year group and identified which questions in our termly NFER Maths Tests address each of the criteria
  • highlighted the prerequisite criteria (from previous year groups) that children need to have mastered in order to access the mathematical concept from their current year group.

Our expectation is that teachers and school leaders will use the RTP criteria in conjunction with questions from NFER’s termly assessments to identify gaps in learning and to provide targeted support to enable pupils to access progressively more difficult areas of the curriculum.

¹ Department for Education and the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (2020). Mathematics guidance: key stages 1 and 2 Non-statutory guidance for the national curriculum in England [online]. Available: [16 September, 2022]