A benchmark is a standard, or point of reference, against which other similar things can be compared.
Usually, a benchmark provides a good example of how something should perform or function, and the things being compared should seek to emulate it.
Benchmarking is a broad term applicable in several contexts, such as technology, finance, business, and education.
Benchmarking in education occurs when standards are set that a child’s progress is measured against.
How is benchmarking used in schools?
Student attainment will often be measured against a benchmark appropriate to their age and year group.
For example, a child in Year 2 and a child in Year 4 will display different levels of attainment, so their progress will be considered against what is expected of a child of that age.
Children are expected to reach different educational milestones at different stages. These can include understanding a specific times table, mathematical concept, or development of vocabulary and handwriting.
These milestones are benchmarks for positive development.