Sats results annulled at school near Kettering after pupils ‘overaided’

GV ks2 chillden results sats exams PPP-150716-142118001
GV ks2 chillden results sats exams PPP-150716-142118001

Results for Sats maths papers at Cranford Primary School have been annulled after pupils were given too much help during the exam.

Northamptonshire County Council and the Standards and Testing Agency (STA) had been investigating after a complaint that pupils were overaided by administrators of the Key Stage 2 exam.

That investigation has now concluded and results for the maths papers have been annulled for the whole class.

A letter to parents from Cranford’s chair of governors, Neil Stokes, seen by the Northants Telegraph, said it was an ‘unfortunate outcome’ but action had been taken.

He said: “This is a very unfortunate outcome for the whole class and for the school but we are confident that it is an isolated and rare occurrence.

“The school did have a right to appeal this decision and provide supporting evidence for an appeal and whilst we feel that there is a strong case for an appeal we decided that, as it would suspend all the Sats results across the school until the appeal has been resolved, appealing would not be the best action for the school as a whole.

“The report gives no details as to the pupils affected or staff involved which is why the whole class results are annulled.

“Similarly the school does not get to see the actual complaint, investigation report or witness statements.

“Sadly there is no opportunity for the pupils to re-sit these papers to gain a score.

“This is the unfortunate by-product of a complaint direct to the STA as opposed to talking directly to the school or governing body in the first instance and we would always encourage parents to talk to the school first wherever possible if they have any concerns.

“The report goes on to recommend a course of action for the school, this process had already been started by the governing body and leadership team before the report had been issued.

“Some actions have already been enacted on which it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

The complaint raised concerns over the use of non-verbal communication, prompting children, encouraging children to move on and prompting children to amend their answers.

The secondary schools of the pupils affected have been contacted with teacher assessments replacing grades for the exams.

Mr Stokes apologised to parents over the annullment.

The letter continued: “On behalf of the school I would like to apologise for this situation and its impact on your child.

“The school is doing everything it can to minimise any potential future impact.

“If you have any further concerns with regard to this please do not hesitate to contact the school leadership team or the chair of governors.

“The school remains dedicated to providing first class and outstanding education for all the pupils and I hope you continue to support the school in these endeavours.”

The complaint raised concerns over administrators prompting children and encouraging them to move on.

One parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said her child had revised for months only to have their score scratched.

The school has almost 100 pupils on its roll.

In May 2016, Cranford Primary School was awarded an ‘outstanding’ grade by inspectors from Ofsted.

The Northants Telegraph contacted the school’s headteacher Julie Grey during the investigation but has not received a comment.