Personalised assessments in Reading and Numeracy are online assessments designed to help support development of reading and numeracy skills. They are used in schools as one of a range of approaches to support progression as part of Curriculum for Wales. Annual personalised assessments are mandatory for pupils in Years 2 to 9 in maintained schools. The assessments comprise: Numeracy which is taken in two parts – Numeracy (Procedural) and Numeracy (Reasoning); Reading in Welsh and English (see note on timing of introduction of personalised assessments below, and further information on each assessment and the mandatory requirements in the main section of this report). 

These assessments provide schools with information on the reading and numeracy skills of individual pupils and an understanding of strengths and areas for improvement in these skills. Following completion of assessments, schools have access to feedback on skills, progress, and a range of reports to help plan teaching and learning. The Welsh Government is clear that the purpose of the assessments is to support progression in learning, and that the assessment outcomes are not to be used for accountability purposes at any level.

Anonymised data from personalised assessments can also provide some information on reading and numeracy skills at a national level, showing changes in attainment over time and differences between demographic groups. 

Therefore, the Welsh Government has compiled this report at the earliest opportunity to assist in understanding patterns of attainment in reading and numeracy over time and the potential impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is the first year for which national-level data is available as a time series for all assessment subjects. This report uses anonymised data from personalised assessments taken between 2018/19 (the introduction of the first assessment) and 2022/23. The publication of this report does not involve any change for schools; personalised assessments will continue to be taken in the same way and used alongside other forms of assessment designed by schools in accordance with the Curriculum for Wales framework.

This is the first of a series of releases planned on national-level personalised assessment data. The subject of this short report is attainment changes over time. A more comprehensive release on the 2018/19 to 2022/23 data, to be published in late spring 2024, will show demographic differences, for example between male and female pupils, and the gap between pupils eligible for free school meals and their peers. Thereafter, annual releases will be issued which will eventually show trends and provide important information on pupils’ development of these skills over time, at a national level. 

The releases will form part of a wider range of national-level information on learner achievement, complementing, for example, the information drawn from our broader programme of national sample-based monitoring assessments, which will cover the breadth of the Curriculum for Wales. The sample-based assessments will seek to assess only a sample of schools per year, ensuring that burdens on the system are kept to a minimum while contributing to national understanding of how the Curriculum for Wales is supporting learners’ development. This programme is described in further detail in the Curriculum for Wales Evaluation Plan

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