Inquiry as watchdog strikes out school’s SATs result

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The results of a SATs assessment at a North Yorkshire primary school have been annulled after an investigation found there had been “maladministration”.

Parents of pupils at Colburn Community Primary School have been reassured by governors that their children will not be adversely affected by the move, which involves this year’s national year six writing assessment.

North Yorkshire County Council said concerns had been raised about the administration of this year’s Key Stage 2 writing assessment and that the Standards and Testing Agency had instructed them to undertake an investigation.

A spokesman said: “Following this investigation, the Standards and Testing Agency made the decision that, as a result of maladministration, the 2018 writing outcomes for all pupils in year six would be annulled.

“The rest of the Key Stage 2 tests and assessments have not been affected.”

The spokesman added: “The staff involved will be subject to further investigation and the authority has begun appropriate employment procedures.”

All children take SATs at the end of year six in maths, reading, writing and grammar.

Maths, reading and grammar are assessed using formal England-wide tests. But the writing scores are determined by internal teacher assessments.

Colburn Primary’s chair of governors, Angie Dale, said: “We will work with the county council to ensure that no child is disadvantaged by this annulment.

“We understand how upsetting this must be for parents at the school and particularly for those of children in year six, but they must be reassured that their children’s education and transition to secondary school will not in any way be adversely affected.”

Patrick Mulligan, the council’s executive member for schools, said: “We expect the highest standards of teaching, learning and assessment in the county’s schools.

“Maladministration of assessment of any kind must not be tolerated and we will always act swiftly to ensure fair and proper practice and to safeguard the educational futures of our pupils.”

Colburn Primary, which is in an area is dominated by Catterick Garrison, the largest Army base in the UK, was judged to be good in all areas when it was last inspected by Ofsted last year. It is estimated to have just over 30 pupils in year six.

Ofsted said the school’s leaders had “created a culture of strong teamwork and a desire to do the very best for pupils”.