Assessment of a pupil's English language competence

According to recent OFSTED guidance (April 2013), all schools:

"should monitor the attainment and progress of pupils who may be at the earliest stages of learning English. For example the school may be using the step descriptors from 'A Language in Common' assessing English as an additional language (QCA,2000/584). Although it is not statutory it was strongly recommended by the former DCSF."

Schools should also make sure that:

  • Specialist English as an additional language support should be available for new arrivals from qualified teachers or teaching assistants who have received appropriate training and support
  • More advanced learners of English should have continuing support in line with their varying needs as they develop competencies over time

In line with this guidance, Salford EMTAS offers schools:

  • Assessment of English as an additional language children new arrivals using the SEEMA programme which will determine where the child is on the Language in Common Scale/English National Curriculum
  • The setting up of the child's language development plan (LDP) so all staff know what language targets the child is trying to achieve

After admission to school an early assessment of a pupil's English language competence will be helpful to decide what support the pupil needs to learn English and access the National Curriculum.

The school will need to refer the child to our services, through a form that is downloadable from our website. Complete the form with as much information as possible and email it to us.

EMTAS will then contact the school with a date for the initial assessment. When necessary an assessment in the pupil's first language will be carried out, as this will enhance the quality of the information and programme planning.

It will also provide a picture of the child's level of fluency and literacy in their home language and facilitate curriculum planning. A report will then be prepared and a copy sent to the school.

If assessments are carried out soon after arrival, it is important that the pupil is reassessed after a designated period. It is important to understand that the whole difficult situation the child and the family are facing may mask the pupil's true performance.

For more information, please contact the EMTAS team on 0161 778 0477 or email

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