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Are you ready for the removal of P Levels?

P Levels are no longer to be used for statutory assessment for pupils working above P4. For pupils working below P4 they will be removed from September 2019. New pre-key stage standards were released by the Government in May 2018. The content of these *not level* descriptors differs somewhat from the P/NC levels!

Take a look at our comparison chart, which shows conversion from P Levels and NC levels to our new Progression Steps assessment framework.


So how do these changes affect your assessment?

Our expert education team has been working on new content based on the recommendations of The Rochford Review: Final Report for some time. Used within our Connecting Steps assessment software, we'll show how you can use B Squared assessment frameworks to assess in line with the new Government guidelines for pupils not yet engaged/are engaged in subject specific learning from P1-P4 and above.

Our assessment frameworks help you to track even the smallest of improvements, enabling your setting to fulfil its statutory duty to make assessment inclusive in the post Rochford Review era!

Get in touch to find out how we can support you with these changes, how you can show progress for your pupils with SEN and how you can support your teachers.

What are the main challenges for SENCOs in special schools?


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Supports all SENDRead More


Our widely used SEND frameworks have been updated in response to the Removal of P Scales and the introduction of the new pre-key stage standards


Key Points

  • Supports pupils who progress in non-linear fashion.
  • Able to show subtle progress of pupils.
  • Reduces teacher workload.
  • Provide useful data to update parents and make informed planning decisions.

We know the challenges facing SENCOs in special schools because Connecting Steps was designed by Special Educational Needs teachers. SENCOs report that whilst they can see the progress made by their pupils, it can be difficult to write it down and chart it. It is challenging to find an assessment framework able to record the subtle progress made by their pupils.

Connecting Steps has up to 9 steps leading to achieving a skill, from ‘encounter’ to ‘gaining skills and understanding’ allowing very small steps of achievement to be communicated to colleagues and parents. For pupils with PMLD or SLD sometimes a very small achievement can represent huge progress, which can be hard to show to parents, carers, therapists and social workers.

Our assessment frameworks are designed to be used in a non-linear fashion. Pupils will not always work progressively through each step, completing one and then moving on to the next. Many pupils will experience and engage with skills across multiple levels. For example, a child may develop responses to environmental sounds regularly but may be less motivated to respond to human voices. Therefore, will develop skills across multiple steps simultaneously.

The data that you collate throughout ongoing assessments needs to be clear and easy to understand, to facilitate informed leadership decisions and to communicate important milestones to parents and carers. Engaging parents in their child’s learning is known to improve educational outcomes. Working alongside Connecting Steps, Evisense is another B Squared software product that allows you to manage a child’s learning journey using photo/video/audio evidence - quickly sharing success with parents to encourage conversations that boost parental engagement. Click here to find out more…

After the removal of the P Levels, the common language schools have used for the last 17 years will also be removed, making comparisons of pupils between schools extremely difficult and making meaningful communication between all agencies/stakeholders more complicated.

Whilst teachers’ workloads continue to increase, it can be hard to find the time to keep up with ongoing assessment and avoid a backlog. As the SENCO you can help save teachers’ time spent working out of hours by using Connecting Steps to assess ‘on the go’ and always have up-to-date records that reflect unique pupils’ non-linear profiles. Assessing needs to be quick, easy and provide a clear ‘next step.’

  • I can see my pupils are making good progress everyday but I struggle to demonstrate these very small steps of progress to our senior leadership team and to the children's parents...

    ---- blog comment
  • Using Connecting Steps means even the smallest increments of progress can be recognised ...

    ---- Jo Johnson, Headteacher
  • It's brilliant that BSquared keeps up with all the changes and meets the DfE's latest requirement. It is an enormous help for us....

    ---- blog comment

New Post 16 KS4+ framework helps track progress towards being fully independent. Arrange a free online meeting to learn how it would work in your setting





What are the main challenges for SENCOs in mainstream schools?


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Supports all SENDRead More


Our widely used SEND frameworks have been updated in response to the Removal of P Scales and the introduction of the new pre-key stage standards


Key Points

  • Aids collating evidence for EHCPs.
  • Reduce teacher workload.
  • Supports teachers judgements.
  • Teachers can easily identify 'next steps' for pupils.

With the removal of P levels, the DfE has given schools flexibility to devise their own assessment frameworks. Whilst autonomy is welcomed, many SENCOs realise the huge investment of time involved. Some of our customers have told us they feel daunted by this. It is a huge responsibility to design a system that can show evidence of progress for children with SEND across the school, to OFSTED and other stakeholders. And there is very little guidance, support, time or money for teachers to write entire assessment frameworks!

With the number of children with SEN attending mainstream schools increasing, the pressure is on. SENCOs are expected to support teachers in their judgements, show pupil progress and manage parental expectations. A combination of a lack of guidance and training due to school support structures being reduced over the last 10 years at Government and local authority level, means more teachers are working outside their comfort zones and find it difficult to identify suitable next steps for children with SEN. Teachers can use Connecting Steps to support their judgements, making decisions on ‘next steps’ quick and easy.

SENCOs face increasing workloads in collating evidence to support EHCP applications. It is difficult to pull together all the evidence to support each statement and demonstrate the child’s actual progress. Connecting Steps help teachers to provide accurate and meaningful up-to-date data which is critical to a successful outcome. Being able to show data visually makes interpreting it easier and aids communication with Ofsted, parents and other stakeholders.

The removal of P Levels means the removal of the common language used by teachers to describe pupils’ attainment. This makes it difficult to make comparisons between pupils at different schools. Take a look at our comparison diagram which shows conversion from P Levels & NC levels to our new Progressions Steps assessment framework. 

Find out how Connecting Steps works for pupils with SEND in a mainstream school. Click on the button below to arrange a free online meeting to help you understand what frameworks are right for you and the benefits for your school.

  • I genuinely love Connecting Steps. It has really changed how I plan, monitor and track my pupils with ASN...

    ---- Lisa Galfredi, Bannockburn Primary School
  • I would highly recommend Connecting Steps software. It informs planning and supports senior leaders to make informed curriculum decisions.

    ---- Jo Johnson, Headteacher
  • The removal of P Levels feels a bit like going back in time and giving rise to everyone recreating their own wheels!...

    ---- blog comment
 Parent seeing evidence of their child's progress

Are you struggling to evidence progress?

Do you spend hours organising photos of pupils' activities? Worry about safeguarding and the security of your school's photo/video evidence of learning? You don't have too!


Evisense provides teachers with a simple & straightforward way to manage evidence of learning securely. Click here to read more.


"Evisense benefits us hugely as the vast majority of our pupils with SEND cannot complete a worksheet or do other ‘typical’ standard forms of assessment. Our main way of recording assessment of pupils is using photos or videos to show them participating in a learning task. Evisense enables us to store, filter and use these photos to show achievement and progress in a relevant and meaningful way. We can also easily and securely share these with parents."

"I genuinely love Connecting Steps. It has really changed how I plan, monitor and track my pupils with special needs."

Lisa Galfredi, Bannockburn Primary School