Head banned over KS2 Sats cheating

A Devon primary headteacher altered pupils' Sats papers – leading to their results being annulled, a panel hears

Mark Smulian


A former headteacher has been banned from teaching for least two years after an anonymous tip-off to regulators accused her of altering pupils’ test papers.

All pupils’ results in that year’s key stage 2 Sats at the school were annulled because of the incident.

Kim Wild, head of Bere Alston Primary School in Yelverton, Devon, made alterations to pupils' English grammar, punctuation and spelling test papers, a report by a professional conduct panel of the Teaching Regulation Agency has revealed.

Ms Wild had admitted the allegations that she failed to comply with statutory guidance in relation to the administration of KS2 Sats papers during the academic year 2016-17, including by allowing pupils to amend their papers after the test had finished, reviewing these after completion and amending the papers herself.

School's Sats results annulled

The panel’s report said that following the anonymous tip-off, the Standards and Testing Agency investigated and annulled the results for all pupils for all subjects within the school's cohort. Ms Wild resigned in August 2017.

Although the panel found that she wrongly allowed changes to English grammar, punctuation and spelling test papers, it said allegations relating to a maths exam were not proven because of the possibility that others had made the alterations on the papers.

Ms Wild also accepted that her conduct was contrary to the statutory guidance in place at the time, specifically the 2017 Assessment and Reporting Arrangements and the Key Stage 2: Test Administration Guidance.

She said the incidents had happened while she was under significant stress for personal reasons and work pressures, including an impending inspection by Ofsted.

The panel said that Ms Wild’s conduct “amounts to misconduct of a serious nature which fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession”.

But it said no doubt had been cast on her ability as a teacher and it had heard a number of favourable character references.

These factors led it to recommend that she should be prohibited from teaching but allowed to apply to have this sanction lifted after March 2021.

Its recommendation was endorsed by the Department for Education decision maker Alan Meyrick. 

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