Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 moderation

Local authorities carry out external moderation visits to confirm whether a school’s teacher assessment is accurate and consistent with national standards.

A teacher assessment must be robust and credible as it forms part of the school's published accountability data. Visits will be undertaken to at least 25% of schools for Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2).

Academies and free schools must comply with statutory requirements for KS1 and KS2 assessment, but can choose which local authority they wish to conduct moderation visits.

The documents below explain statutory requirements and guidance for assessment and reporting arrangements produced by The Standards & Testing Agency.

It is important that headteachers, assessment leaders and teachers in year 2 and year 6 are familiar with the contents of these documents.

What is moderation?

Moderation is a sampling process and not a method for checking that every assessment made by every teacher for every child is ‘correct’, rather it is a means for local authorities to be confident that their schools understand national standards and are able to apply them consistently so that teacher assessment will produce outcomes which are fair to children and provide an accurate picture of progress for parents and carers.

Is there a charge for moderation?

The local authority receives funding to carry out its statutory duty to moderate in local authority schools and so there is no charge for maintained schools.

Academies may be charged by the local authority they select for this service. Academies must provide their selected authority with proof of their most recent moderation visit and the outcome.

Academies and free schools choose which local authority will carry out their moderation and SATs monitoring visits. They receive funding directly from the DfE, on the same formula as the local authority, to pay for this duty to be carried out.

Charges for academies and free schools 2015-2016

​Key stage​Type of visitCost​
​Key Stage 1​Moderation visit of year 2 teacher assessments

​1 child per cohort = £100
2 children per cohort = £200
Single form entry = £300
2-form entry = £350
3-form+ entry = £400

​Key Stage 2​Moderation visit of year 6 writing teacher assessments​​1 child per cohort = £100
2 children per cohort = £200
Single form entry = £300
2-form entry = £350
3-form+ entry = £400

What do moderators check?

Local authority external moderators will:

  • check teachers’ understanding of the national standards
  • check that the standards are consistently applied
  • look at the supporting evidence for a sample of children chosen by the moderators across the range of attainment from across the year.

If a significant proportion of levelled judgements cannot be verified, then a revisit will be arranged.

Schools should not create portfolios of work or prepare ‘showpiece’ examples for a moderation visit as the emphasis will be on professional discussion with the teacher(s) and the local authority external moderator. There is no need for schools to keep additional records justifying their teacher assessment judgements.

The moderation visit process and timelines

Please choose one of the areas below to find out more about the moderation visit, appeals process and timelines.

Selecting schools for moderation visit

The Standards and Testing Agency will select a number of schools for moderation, which must be included in the local authority's moderation arrangements.  Authorities must include schools for moderation based on their own local intelligence to ensure that they externally moderate 25% of their schools.  Triggers for external moderation may include:

  • New teaching staff
  • New senior leadership team
  • Ofsted concern
  • Historical data concern
  • Date of last external moderation
  • Other local concern

In line with The Standards and Testing Agency effective practice, we provide opportunities for cross-phase school standardisation and moderation against national standards, supported by external moderators, at moderation meetings. All schools are invited to attend central moderation meetings run in collaboration with the Teaching Schools. This helps to ensure consistency of national standards across the authority.

Preparing for the moderation visit

Schools selected for an external moderation visit will be notified by email. They will then be invited to attend a ‘Meet the Moderator’ session where key information regarding the visit will be shared.  It will be an opportunity for the school and moderator to arrange a date for the moderation visit and for the school to provide moderators with a class list of teaching assessment judgements per class (UPNs and gender only - no names). Schools unable to attend the meet the moderator session will be contacted by an external moderator to arrange a mutually convenient date for the moderation visit.

Schools selected for an external moderation visit are asked to ensure that:

  • the moderator receives a list of pupil teacher assessment judgements by class (UPN numbers and gender – no names) for reading, writing and mathematics at KS1 and writing at KS2 at the meet the moderator session (or in advance of their visit if unable to attend the meet the moderator session).
  • the external moderators and teachers can meet together in a quiet area with access to children’s evidence of on-going learning and assessment, in whatever format it is routinely kept
  • schools prepare for a professional discussion with the external moderator, to look at how the evidence supports their teacher assessment judgements
  • there is an opportunity for the external moderators to meet the headteacher and teachers to offer formal verbal and written feedback at the end of the visit.

The moderation visit

The purpose of the visit is to ensure that the school’s summative teaching assessment judgements are accurate and consistent with the national standards.

  • Two moderators will visit school
  • Visits will usually take half a day, although may be longer for 3 or 4 form entry schools
  • From the pupil list provided by the school moderators will:
    • select a minimum sample of 15% across the cohort for writing at KS2 and 10% across the cohort for reading, writing and mathematics at KS1 or in the case of a single class, a minimum of five children for writing at KS2 and 3 for reading, 3 for writing and 3 for mathematics (different children for each subject where possible) at KS1. The sample will cover the full range of attainment in all classes – see below

Key Stage 1  - 10% sample ​ ​ ​

​Size of school​Reading​Writing​Maths​Total sample
​1FE or less​3 pupils​​3 pupils​​3 pupils​​9 pupils
​2FE​6 pupils​​6 pupils​​6 pupils​​​18 pupils
​3FE​​9 pupils​​9 pupils​​9 pupils​​27 pupils
​4FE​​12 pupils​​12 pupils​​12 pupils​​36 pupils

 Key Stage 2 - 15% sample

​Size of school​Sample
​1FE or less​5 pupils
​2FE​9 pupils
​3FE​14 pupils
​4FE​18 pupils
    • use the sample as the basis for professional discussion with the team of year 2/6 teachers
    • inform the school of sample children by 9am the day before the visit
  • During the professional discussion the teachers articulate the reasons for their judgments and provide evidence, demonstrating their understanding of national standards.  Discussion will also include the context of the work and level of independence. 
  • Reference must be made to the ‘Pupil Can’ statements in the Interim Teacher Assessment Frameworks. 
  • Where there is insufficient evidence or concerns about the accuracy of the teachers’ judgements, moderators will request additional evidence.

Suitable evidence for moderation

External moderators will expect to see a variety of evidence produced during day-to-day teaching to validate the schools’ judgements. The evidence must show that the pupil demonstrates attainment of all the ‘Pupil Can’ statements within the standard and all the statements in the preceding standard(s).  (Please note specific advice on handwriting). Evidence should include a range of work from pupils’ exercise books, other examples of work, assessment records and any other evidence that the school considers relevant; including ‘rough’ work as well as ‘finished’ examples. External moderators will expect to see a range of work from across the curriculum.
Please note that there is no expectation or requirement to photocopy the children’s work that is being moderated. If the evidence is limited it is likely that the school’s teacher assessment will not be consistent with national standards.

Completion of the moderation visit

At the end of the visit verbal and written feedback will be provided. The moderators will inform the headteacher or representative of the outcome of the external moderation visit, both verbally and in a written visit record. This feedback will detail any instances where the assessment is not in line with national standards. The moderators will inform the school of the action to be taken. The LA record of visit will also detail the number of children in the cohort at each standard.

The completed visit record, detailing the teacher and moderator judgements and any changes, must be signed by the headteacher (or representative) and moderator. The final copy will be returned to the local authority moderation manager.

A copy of the moderation visit evaluation form will be left with the school to complete after the visit and return to the local authority moderation manager. Feedback will be used to inform future planning.

If you do not agree with the moderator’s judgement you are able to appeal against the decision, using the appeals process. 

Data submission

Schools must submit teacher assessment judgements to the local authority data team by the dates specified:

KS1 - 20 June 2016
KS2 - 22 June 2016

Local authorities have the statutory responsibility to ensure teacher assessments are appropriate and consistent with the pitch of national exemplification. Headteachers are responsible for the submission of accurate teacher assessment data.

Northamptonshire has a clear appeals procedure. In the case that a moderator’s judgement of a teacher assessment differs from that of the school, the following procedures apply:

Stage 1where issues arise during the moderation visit
Every attempt needs to be made on the day of the visit to reach a positive outcome. Where the moderators have reason to believe that teacher assessment judgements are not consistent with national standards, they should request that the school change some or all of its teacher assessment judgements. The moderator should indicate on the note of visit which teacher assessment judgements(s) need to be changed and explain the reasons, referring to the Interim Teacher Assessment Framework and national exemplification materials where appropriate.

Stage 2where issues are unresolved during the moderation visit
If the school is concerned about the judgements demonstrated by the moderators, they should contact the moderation manager.  It may be necessary for the moderation manager to undertake an additional visit, or make other arrangements to review the information discussed.  If after this process, the school continues to disagree with the judgements they may request an appeals panel.  Schools must have evidence to support any appeals claim before the appeal is processed.

Stage 3appeals process
If following a visit by the moderation manager, agreement cannot be reached; the following more formal appeals procedure should be followed:

  • An appeal must be made in writing by the headteacher, outlining in detail the reasons for the appeal including the evidence from the moderation visit, within 5 working days of the moderation manager’s visit.
  • Appeals must be addressed to Clare Haywood, Assessment and Moderation Manager chaywood@northamptonshire.gov.uk and will be acknowledged on receipt.

Administration of appeals

  • The appeals panel will meet within four weeks of receipt of the appeal.
  • The school which is in disagreement with the moderation judgement will be invited to send two representatives, one of whom must be the practitioner, to present and discuss the evidence to the appeals panel and to clearly state why they have reached their judgements.
  • The panel will listen, review the evidence and make a final decision which will be binding.
  • The appeals panel will consist of:
    • a representative from another local authority (that is a member of the Association for Achievement and Improvement through Assessment - AAIA)
    • a partnership headteacher from another school
      an external moderator (who has not been involved in the initial moderation process)
    • a Senior School Improvement Manager, who will chair of the moderation appeals panel.
  • The chair must ensure that the panel is quorate and impartial and that all information relevant to the appeal is presented to the panel.
  • A report on the proceedings and outcome will be made and approved by the chair.
  • Notification of the panel’s decision will be sent to the school in writing within three working days.  It will either:
    Reject the appeal – where the panel feels that the appeal is unjustified and the original decision remains; or
    Accept the appeal and confirm that the teacher judgements are accurate.

In the event that a school does not accept the decision of the panel, the case would be referred to the Standards and Testing Agency (STA).

In the event that a school chooses not to go to appeal, and refuses to amend submitted data in line with the outcome of a moderation visit, the school would be referred to the STA maladministration team. 

Preparation for the KS1 local authority external writing moderation process

Step​Dates​
Year 2 preparation for statutory assessment and moderation training​​4, 5, 9, 10, 12 and 17 November and 1, 3 and 7 December 2015
​​Year 2 Reading, writing and mathematics moderation meetings – run by teaching schools in partnership with authority ​April 2016
​​Moderation handbook sent to all schools detailing moderation process.​May 2016
Teaching assessment judgements for Reading, writing and mathematics submitted to the authority for checking.​​​20 June 2016 (local authority submit to DfE on 30th June 2016)

Notification of an external moderation visit

​Step​Dates

Headteachers will be notified of external moderation visits by email.​

​20 May 2016

'Meet the moderator' sessions

Step​​Dates
Representatives from moderated schools are invited to attend a meeting to hear key messages about the moderation process, meet their moderator, arrange a date for the moderation visit and provide moderators with a class list of teaching assessment  judgements per year 2 class (UPNs and gender only - no names).​KS1 - 24 May 4:00– 5:30pm
at Northampton Saints Rugby Football Club, Franklin’s Gardens, Weedon Road, Northampton, NN5 5BG
​Schools unable to attend the meet the moderator session are requested to email a list of teaching assessment judgements per class to their moderators.​Upon request from moderator
A moderator informs the school of the selected sample​.​By 9am the day prior to visit.
​Teachers collect the range of evidence for each child in the sample.​The day before the moderation visit

Visit agenda

  • Arrival and introductions of staff and moderators. Timings and agenda for the visit are shared, including time for feedback to senior leaders and class teacher/s.
  • Professional discussion – moderators meet with year 2 teachers to agree judgments based on evidence presented.
  • Moderators provide feedback on the outcome of the visit to headteacher/senior leader(s)/teachers. Where assessment is not in line with national standards, the moderators will inform the school in detail of any revisions.
  • Moderators provide the school with a completed local authority record of the visit that must be signed by the headteacher (or delegate) and the moderators.
  • Where additional evidence is required and requested by the moderator, evidence must be submitted by 29 June.
  • If the school is not happy with the moderators judgements the appeals process will be followed.

Preparation for the KS2 LA External Writing Moderation Process

​Step​Dates
Year 6 preparation for statutory assessment and moderation training​10, 11, 13, 18, 20 November
8, 9, 11 December
​​Year 6 writing moderation meetings – run by teaching schools in partnership with local authority​April 2016
​​Moderation handbook sent to all schools detailing moderation process.​May 2016
Writing teaching assessment  uploaded to NCA tools website.​​22nd June 2016 (to enable authority to check prior to 30th June 2016)

Notification of an external moderation visit

​Step​Dates
Headteachers will be notified of external moderation visits by email.​​20 May 2016

Meet the moderator sessions

StepDates​
Representatives from moderated schools are invited to attend a meeting to hear key messages about the moderation process, meet their moderator, arrange a date for the moderation visit and provide moderators with a class list of teaching assessment judgements per year 2 class (UPNs and gender only - no names).KS2 – 25 May 4:00– 5:30pm
@ Northampton Saints Rugby Football Club, Franklin’s Gardens, Weedon Road, Northampton, NN5 5BG
​Schools unable to attend the meet the moderator session are requested to email a list of teaching assessment judgements per class to their moderators.​Upon request from moderator
A moderator informs the school of the selected sample​.​By 9am the day prior to visit.
​Teachers collect the range of evidence for each child in the sample.​The day before the moderation visit

Visit agenda

  • Arrival and introductions of staff and moderators. Timings and agenda for the visit are shared, including time for feedback to senior leaders and class teacher/s.
  • Professional discussion – moderators meet with year 6 teachers to agree judgments based on evidence presented.
  • Moderators provide feedback on the outcome of the visit to headteacher/senior leader(s)/teachers. Where assessment is not in line with national standards, the moderators will inform the school in detail of any revisions.
  • Moderators provide the school with a completed local authority record of the visit that must be signed by the headteacher (or delegate) and the moderators.
  • Where additional evidence is required and requested by the moderator, evidence must be submitted by 29 June.
  • If the school is not happy with the moderators judgements the appeals process will be followed.

​Local Authority Moderators – Senior School Improvement Managers
Clare Haywood – Moderation Manager chaywood@northamptonshire.gov.uk
Jess Steele jesteele@northamptonshire.gov.uk

​School-based moderators​Email address
Linda Ward - Higham Ferrers Nursery and Infant schoollward@hfi.education
​Joanne-Lloyd Williams - Finedon Infants schoolJlloyd-williams@finedon.northants.sch.uk
​Karen Loomes - Earls Barton Infant schoolKaren.loomes@earlsbarton-inf.northants.sch.uk
​Lisa Farbon - Boothville Primary schoolLisa.Farbon@booth.northants.sch.uk
​Karen Paris - Studfall Infant schoolKarenP@studfall-inf.northants.sch.uk
​Emma Cox - Studfall Infant schoolemmac@studfall-inf.northants.sch.uk
​Sarah Webb – Deanshanger PrimarySw17@deanshanger.northants.sch.uk
​Sarah Powell - Hall Meadow PrimarySarah.Powell@hallmeadow.northants.sch.uk
​Christina Hodges - Lings PrimaryChristina.Hodges@lingsprimary.org.uk
​Jess Hardie - Hayfield Cross Church of England Primary School jess.hardie@hayfieldcross.org.uk
​Sarah Sylvester - Kings Sutton Primaryssylvester@kspa.email
​Emma Laughton - Loddington CE Primaryelaughton@loddington.northants.sch.uk
​Caroline Lewis - Bracken Leas Primaryfreckleslewis@hotmail.co.uk
​Lindsey Knowles - East Hunsbury Primaryknowlesl@easthunsburyprimary.org
​Laura Wright - Irthlingborough Infant schoollwright@irthlingborough-inf.northants.sch.uk
​Hazel Williams – Boddington PrimaryHazel.Williams@boddington.northants.sch.uk
​Louise Edwards - Weston Favell PrimaryLouise.Edwards@wfps.org.uk
​Ruth Heygate - Irchester Primaryrheygate.irchester.northants@dbprimary.com
​Louise Biklhu - St James Primarylbilkhu@stjames.northants.sch.uk
​Marie Clowes - St Brendan’s PrimaryMarie.Clowes@st-luke-AT.co.uk
​Rebecca Hughes – Syresham Primaryrebecca.hughes13@btinternet.com

​Local authority moderators – Senior School Improvement Managers
Clare Haywood, Moderation Manager chaywood@northamptonshire.gov.uk
Jess Steele jesteele@northamptonshire.gov.uk

School-based moderators

Name​Email address
​Sarah Webb – Deanshanger PrimarySw17@deanshanger.northants.sch.uk
Ilona Spencer-Smith – Higham Ferrers Junior school ilonas@highamferrers-jun.northants-ecl.gov.uk
​Jess Woodcock - Finedon Mulso Junior schooljwoodcock@finedonmulso.northants.sch.uk
Joanne Meekings - Irthlingborough Junior school head@irthlingborough-jun.northants-ecl.gov.uk
​Kirstin Howarth - Isham CE Primary School head@isham.northants-ecl.gov.uk
Emma Laughton - Loddington CE Primaryelaughton@loddington.northants.sch.uk
​Rebecca Ives - Geddington CE PrimaryMrs.ives@geddingtonschool.co.uk
Helen Williams - Little Stanion Primary ​head@ltstanion-pri.northants-ecl.gov.uk
​Sarah Aldridge - Abington Vale Primary sarahaldridge@avps.org.uk
​Rebecca Richardson - Irchester PrimaryRrichardson-.irchester.northants@dbprimary.com
​Dawn Childs - Mawsley Primarydawn.childs@mawsley.org.uk
Shaun Carter - Standens Barn Primaryhead@standens.northants-ecl.gov.uk
​Richard Carter - Cranford CE PrimaryRichard.carter8@btopenworld.com
Claire Head - Redwell PrimaryClaire.head@redwellprimary.co.uk
Sam Mawer - Bridgewater Primarysmawer@bridgewaterprimary.net
​Kim Skelton - Great Addington PrimaryKskelton@greataddingtonprimary.org.uk
​Liz Martin - East Hunsbury Primaryelizabethmartin79@hotmail.co.uk
​Rebecca Hughes (SLE) - Syresham Primaryrebecca.hughes13@btinternet.com
​Katherine Breakspear - Grendon CE Primarykatherinebreakspear@gmail.com
​Sarah Brown – Wootton Primaryslbrown10@yahoo.co.uk
​Jemma Gillespie - St James Primaryjgillespie@stjames.northants.sch.uk
​Roslyn Mackay - St Brendan’s Primaryroslynmackay@hotmail.co.uk
All local authority moderators must be qualified teachers, with:
  • Current experience of end of key stage 1 or 2 assessment

As part of the recruitment process all prospective external moderators must undertake a standardisation exercise. 

Moderators must have the recommendation and support of the headteacher.

Role
Moderators provide external, independent, objective scrutiny of teacher assessment. They are never asked to visit schools with which they have a potential or perceived conflict of interest.

In Northamptonshire, moderation visits will be carried out in pairs to manage the workload in larger schools and to ensure consistency in judgements.

Quality assurance visits will be undertaken with all new moderators and a sample of experienced moderators by the local authority moderation manager.

Further help and support 

Clare Haywood, SSIM, Assessment and Moderation Manager chaywood@northamptonshire.gov.uk
Standards and Testing Agency 
National curriculum assessments helpline 0300 303 3013

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