1,500 Sats results investigated for potential cheating

New figures reveal how many test results have been held back or annulled because of claims of maladministration

A DfE report reveals that there are almost 1,500 ongoing probes into Sats maladministration.

Around 1,500 Sats results for key stage 2 have been suppressed because of ongoing investigations into maladministration, new data reveals.

Department for Education figures released today show that 1,496 test results have not been included in the 2019 results data because of these investigations.

A report from the DfE also reveals that there have been 132 results that have already been annulled because of confirmed maladministration and two more results annulled because pupils were cheating.


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Maladministration refers to anything that risks undermining the integrity of the tests or which could lead to results that do not reflect pupils’ unaided work or their actual ability.

This can range from test papers being incorrectly opened to the over-aiding of pupils by teachers administering tests or changes being made to the pupils’ answers.

Today’s figures represent the number of ongoing investigations at this point.

At the same time last year there were 2,688 test results suppressed due to ongoing investigations.

A DfE report into the Sats today reveals that at the end of the investigations for the 2018 KS2 Sats there were 1,948 results annulled because of confirmed maladministration cases and another 164 which were not available for "reasons beyond the schools’ control".

One test result last year was annulled because of a pupil cheating.

The Standards and Testing Agency runs a helpline for people to report concerns about how Sats or the phonics screening check have been administered and says it investigates all complaints.

Earlier this year Tes reported how a primary school headteacher has been banned from the profession for cheating in the KS2 Sats three years ago.

Naheed Parveen Earl, a former headteacher of Lowerplace Primary School in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, gave pupils extra time and ordered staff to help pupils during the tests.

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