Moderation allows teachers to benchmark judgements, while ensuring consistent standards and reliable outcomes.

There are two forms of moderation:

Internal moderation – A non-statutory process conducted in schools and, where possible, with other schools. Moderation should be a collaborative process undertaken throughout the academic year and normally with colleagues across key stages. This supports the quality assurance of teacher assessment (TA) judgements and provides an opportunity for professional development.

External moderation – Local authorities conduct statutory external moderation of KS2 English writing outcomes. This is to validate judgements and ensure they are consistent with national standards. It is a collaborative process between the local authority’s moderator and the school. It offers the opportunity to discuss judgements on pupils’ performance against the requirements of the TA frameworks.

The national standards are specified in a number of key Standards and Testing Agency (STA) documents:

Teacher assessment frameworks at the end of key stage 2

Pre-key stage 2 standards

Teacher assessment exemplification: KS2 writing

Teacher assessment exemplification: KS2 science

Pre-key stage English language comprehension and reading exemplification

Local authorities (LA) are required to externally moderate at least 25% of maintained schools, academies and participating independent schools that opt into local authorities’ external moderation provisions every 4 years.

More frequent additional visits can be undertaken for a number of reasons. The list below is taken from Section 16.1 of the Key Stage 2 teacher assessment guidance 2024. It is not exhaustive.

  • Teachers being new to year 6 teaching, such as newly qualified teachers or experienced teachers who are new to year 6 teaching.
  • A new senior leadership team, such as a new head teacher.
  • Schools with a year 6 cohort for the first time.
  • Concerns from previous local authority visits.
  • Concerns from previously submitted data or test outcome comparisons.
  • Newly converted academies. 
  • Ofsted concern.

Local authorities will inform schools on, or after, Friday 17 May 2024 if they are going to receive an external moderation visit. Schools will be informed by email from the KS2 moderation mailbox – [email protected]. Local authorities will carry out moderation visits from Monday 3 June 2024 to Friday 28 June 2024.

Preparing for an external moderation visit

The best way for a school to prepare for an external moderation visit is to have robust internal assessment processes. These should be based on teachers’ understanding of the TA frameworks and in collaboration with other schools, where possible.

Schools must ensure that:

  • Teacher assessment judgements against the TA frameworks for the cohort are available for external moderation and should also subject them to internal moderation prior to a local authority external moderation visit. The local authority does not ask schools to send pupil data in advance of an external moderation visit.
  • Evidence of pupils’ work is available for external moderation, to demonstrate attainment of the ‘pupil can’ statements at the standard the pupil has been judged to have met – this should be in the form of day-to-day work. The local authority does not expect schools to provide portfolios or checklists of evidence.

The school will be informed by email of the name/s of their moderator/s the week before the planned moderation date. In most cases, there will be only one LA moderator per visit. However, if the school has a large cohort, the LA moderator is being quality assured or the visit forms parts of new moderator induction, there may be additional LA moderators conducting the visit. The school will be made aware of this in advance.

For more information about statutory moderation in 2024, please see the Suffolk Primary Moderation Handbook 2023-2024 below.

Useful contacts

Kathryn Roper – Assessment Officer/KS2 Moderation Manager

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 01473 264169 or 07595 091940

KS2 moderation business support

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 01473 263961