United Kingdom



A comprehensive system of mandatory student assessments is in place since the early 1990s.

Used to identify individual learning needs and for school accountability purposes

School results are disseminated in league tables, and expected to inform parental choice.


The sample-based NLSA was discontinued in 2016

Replaced by a standardized assessment that is expected to be administered to all students in selected grades

The new assessment is conceived as a system-wide monitoring tool and will be used to identify students’ individual needs and to inform school and teaching improvement strategies.


A census-based NLSA with diagnostic and monitoring purposes introduced in 2013.

Northern Ireland

An external assessment – other than end-of-phase examinations – remains in a development stage.