All children in education must be assessed regularly and their progress reported to parents.
For some children with special educational needs the levels of the national curriculum may not be appropriate. In the UK there is a system for assessing those with special educational needs called the Performance Criteria Scales. (P - levels). These have targets on eight levels. These P levels might be useful for target setting. More information.
Although there are lots of commercial tests available for diagnosis of learning difficulties, they should always be used with caution. There can be many reasons why testing does not always give an accurate view of a child's strengths and weaknesses.
Ideas for start of year
Sometimes it can be difficult
to know where to begin. You might consider giving a new pupil 10 minutes
time for free writing. This will give you an idea of writing speed, spelling,
sentence structure, vocabulary. You could check understanding by asking
them to read silently for a short period and then asking questions on
the text. Phonic skills can be tested by giving a list of non-words with
single and double sounds. You might try dictation to check for spelling