Justine Greening has confirmed that no primary schools will be told that they are failing this year based on their key stage 2 writing scores, amid concerns about inconsistent teacher assessments.
Writing is assessed by Year 6 teachers, who must judge whether their pupils are at, above or below the expected standard for the end of Year 6 against a set of statutory criteria.
But the assessments have been particularly controversial this year after it was revealed that two-thirds of moderators – who go into schools to check the criteria are being interpreted in the same way in every school – had incorrectly assessed pupils’ work.
In a letter to the NAHT headteachers' union, seen by Tes, Ms Greening confirms that "in 2017, no intervention will be made on the basis of writing data alone", which continues the precedent set last year. The move has been welcomed by headteachers.