Good communication is the gateway to learning, friendships, academic achievement and success at work

Beyond Measure

In April 2016, following the development of this resource, the Department for Education (DfE) announced that the Reception Baseline Assessment would not be formally introduced in September 2016, following a comparability study of the 3 approved reception baseline assessments.

For more information about the assessment, approved providers and recent comparability study, please see the Department for Education website here.

More recently, the DfE have decided again to implement a statutory reception baseline assessment. In April 2018, it was announced that The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) was the successful bidder for the contract to develop this assessment for reception aged children. The new assessment will be trialled as part of a pilot phase, and will become statutory for schools in 2020.

The Communication Trust believes that it is important to consider children's speech, language and communication development as part of getting to know pupils at the start of and throughout their reception year. This helps to ensure that children who have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) are identified as early as possible, thus ensuring that the most appropriate support can be put in place, minimising the potential long term impact of a child's SLCN.

Beyond Measure can support the early identification of children who are struggling with their speech, language and communication. 


Using Beyond Measure can support schools to:

•  Understand more about SLCN and the importance of early identification

• Think about next steps for children where observations or any summative or formative assessment highlights concerns with speech, language and/or communication

• Understand that speech, language and communication are foundation skills, linked to many other areas of the EYFS areas of development 


This guidance also includes information about next steps for planning and support if you are concerned about a child's speech, language and communication development as well as considerations for reception aged children who speak English as an additional language (EAL).


Listed in the appendix are several resources that schools can access to develop their understanding and good practice around supporting all children's speech, language and communication development.

Please click here to download the full Beyond Measure document. 
Schools may also find our Universally Speaking and Progression Tools resources useful to support the early identification of children with speech, language and communication needs. 


Case Studies - using the reception baseline with children with SLCN

During the development of Beyond Measure we asked some schools to tell us about their experience of using the reception baseline assessment with a child with SLCN. You can read the full case studies below.

From the responses we have collated some of their advice:

  • Get to know the child as well as possible before completing the assessment, to make it easier to interpret the responses they give
  • The child may become distracted from the task - refocus them as needed
  • To help the child to concentrate on the assessment, sit in a quiet area, with your back to the door. If the room you're in has a window, try to make sure there's not anything more exciting going on outside to distract the child
  • Repeat or reword the instructions as needed, and as allowed by the assessment provider
  • Use Makaton signing or key word signing for children who might struggle with their understanding of language
  • Complete the assessment over two or more sessions if needed


Click here to read case study 1 in full.

Click here to read case study 2 in full.