Changes to key stage 2 assessment dates in 2023

An additional bank holiday in honour of the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III will take place on Monday 8 May 2023. As this date had previously been announced as the first day of the 2023 key stage 2 (KS2) test week in England, a change to the KS2 test schedule next year will be necessary.

Ministers have considered the situation carefully and have decided that KS2 tests will take place in the same week with tests following the usual order but each taking place one day later than originally planned. As such, the new schedule will be:

  • Tuesday 9 May: English grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS) papers 1 (questions) and 2 (spelling)
  • Wednesday 10 May: English reading paper
  • Thursday 11 May: mathematics papers 1 (arithmetic) and 2 (reasoning)
  • Friday 12 May: mathematics paper 3 (reasoning)

The KS2 timetable variation (TTV) window for each assessment will also move back one day, in accordance with this change.

There will be no changes to arrangements for our other assessments, including KS2 teacher assessments, key stage 1 tests and teacher assessments, the phonics screening check and the multiplication tables check. Dates and deadlines for these assessments remain as previously announced.

In making their decision, ministers have considered the views of schools and stakeholders including trade unions and have sought to minimise disruption to schools arising from the change in plans.

We are aware that schools may have booked events or activities for their year 6 pupils on Friday 12 May. Where possible, schools should look to rearrange or delay the start of any such events or activities to accommodate mathematics paper 3.

Where it is not possible to change plans in this way then, exceptionally for 2023, we will approve applications for TTVs arising from booked residentials, trips or similar events scheduled for Friday 12 May only. Schools will need to reschedule the date of the test (mathematics paper 3) for the affected pupils to one of the following five school days.

Note that we will not approve TTVs for any such events that are scheduled on other test days, in line with existing rules. Other TTV rules will continue to apply as normal for Friday 12 May, including in relation to pupil absence or attendance at alternative provision.

Our guidance, including the KS2 Assessment and Reporting Arrangements, will be updated to reflect these decisions, including any changes to other aspects of test administration such as arrangements for the collection of test papers. We are aiming to keep changes as minimal as possible. We will inform schools via the Assessment Updates when the revised documentation is available.

Schools with urgent queries can contact the national curriculum assessments helpline on 0300 303 3013 or by email at

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