The Boxall Profile has been restandardised

17 October 2017 - Dr Florence Ruby


In summer 2017, we decided to take a closer look at the Boxall Profile and see if the norms needed to be updated. The Boxall Profile 2017 (BP2017) was published as a result!

The norms (or “shaded areas”) on the Boxall represent the range of scores that competently functioning children in primary school generally obtain. By doing the restandardisation, we made sure that the norms are up-to-date and correspond to the range of skills displayed by children currently in primary schools. This time, we used data from almost 500 children aged between 4 and 11, from Reception to Year 6. The sample therefore covers all primary school years.  

NGN recommends all practitioners and teachers start using the BP2017 to assess the social emotional competence of primary school aged children. Remember that the BP2017 can be used to assess primary school children; the Boxall Profile for Young People remains the same and should be used to assess pupils in secondary schools.

If you compare the B2017 and the previous version of the Boxall for children (BP), you will see that the norms are slightly different for some strands. Look at the example below with Strands A and B. For Strand A, the norm remains the same (the green area for BP and BP2017 is identical); for Strand B, the norm is slightly smaller for BP2017 compared to the previous version of BP. 

Whether you do a Boxall on a child with BP2017 or the previous version, the child will score the same (eg. 3 on Strand B). The difference between the two Boxalls will be the norm against which the score is compared. 

If you've started a nurture intervention a few months back and assessed a child with the previous version of BP, you may continue using the same version to measure the progress of the child, so that you can compare the scores against the same norms. 

But for children assessed over longer periods, you will need to decide when to make the switch from BP to BP2017. One moment you could do this would be when you review the progress of the child and plan the next term’s targets and strategies.  

We understand that this switch may create difficulties for practitioners, but it is important to start using the new norms because they reflect better the range of skills primary-school aged children are expected to have.    

On, users will automatically use the BP2017 but will have the option to use the previous version if they wish to do so.

Paper copies of the BP2017 can be purchased from our website here. The previous version of the Boxall will not be available for purchase anymore. 

Note that we’ve created an addendum for the Boxall Profile Handbook that includes the case studies with the new norms. You can download it for free here or can request a paper copy to Melisa by sending an email at (price of postage and packaging, £2.50).

For queries regarding BP2017 and the research behind the restandardisation, please contact our researcher Dr Florence Ruby at