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Engagement Model update from the DfE

Posted in News

We have received this message from the Department of Education:

To: various SEND stakeholders

Dear all

On behalf of the Standards and Testing Agency, I am writing to update you on the Engagement Model.

As you will be aware, the Engagement Model is the new assessment (replacing P scales 1 to 4) for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum assessments and not engaged in subject-specific study. We published the Engagement Model guidance in March 2020 and intended that it would become statutory from September 2020.

Following the disruption caused by coronavirus, we recognise that some schools may not have had the opportunity to engage with the guidance and training opportunities, and as a result may be less prepared to implement the Engagement Model. Therefore, the 2020/21 academic year will be a transitionary year (subject to the necessary legislation being made) where schools will have the time to prepare for, and start embedding, the Model by:

  1. identifying the relevant cohort of pupils
  2. using the engagement areas to observe and assess the level of engagement for individual pupils
  3. evaluating the curriculum

We will also use a flexible approach for the submission of teacher assessment outcomes at the end of key stages 1 and 2. Schools that have used the engagement model will be able to report against it, and schools that need more time to implement this change will continue to have the option to assess against P scales 1 to 4, for one final year.

The proposal is that the Engagement Model will then become statutory from September 2021.


Chris Eridani Ball

0-25 Special Educational Needs and Disability Unit

Department for Education

07469 031757

Web:                     www.gov.uk/dfe

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