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Dates fixed

The Department for Education and Skills this week confirmed that ministers and spin doctors would no longer be involved in deciding when to release exam results, after they were accused of burying poor primary school test scores earlier this year.

David Bell, DfES permanent secretary, has written to the Statistics Commission confirming that future key stage 1 and 2 results will be published on a fixed day, and will not clash with GCSE marks.

The commission has been heavily critical of the way advisers were allowed to influence the publication date of the Sats results in August, which showed key stage 1 scores were down and the Government targets at key stage 2 were missed.

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