Reception Baseline Assessment 

September 2021

The Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) has become statutory from September 2021 in all maintained primary, infant and first schools in England. It is a short, activity-based assessment of pupils’ early mathematics, literacy, communication and language skills, taken within the first weeks of starting reception.

Its purpose is to form the starting point for cohort-level primary school progress measures, to help build a fairer progress measure for schools, and give teachers recognition for the work they do with pupils throughout primary school.

Claire Harnden, Deputy CEO at South Farnham Educational Trust, has shared her experiences of piloting the RBA with the DfE. She highlights the importance of understanding children’s starting points, given the impact of the pandemic on children’s experiences; how the RBA will enable a fairer progress measure; and considers concerns about teacher workload in the immediate and longer term.

Further details about the assessment and how it will work in practice can be found in the RBA information video and school information leaflet.

A parent information leaflet is available for schools to use with parents and guardians, which explains what the RBA is and what it means for their child. 

Read more about the reception baseline assessments and how to prepare here.

Most schools will by now have received their assessment resource pack. If your school has not yet received
an RBA e Portal password, contact the RBA helpline on 0330 088 4171.

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