Sats: DfE says similarities between reading paper and revision guide will not compromise the test

Themes in the revision guide and the real test were "broadly similar" but questions were different, claim officials

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The Department for Education has moved to quell concerns that the key stage 2 reading test may have been compromised by its similarity to a previously published revision guide.

A spokesperson for the DfE said that it was aware that a commercial revision guide included a text on a “broadly similar” theme to a text in the reading test taken by almost 600,000 10 and 11-year-olds on Monday.

The content and questions of the test cannot be revealed because some children have yet to take the test.

But the DfE said that it was confident pupils who had seen the guide would not have had an unfair advantage.

'No unfair advantage'

The spokesperson said: “The text in the practice materials and the real test were based on a broadly similar theme but the questions were different. We have reviewed the questions and they are not the same. The text wasn’t the same, it was on a broadly similar theme.

“We are satisfied that they are sufficiently different that there is no advantage to be gained from seeing those materials before sitting the key stage 2 reading test.”

Concerns about whether the reading paper was too similar to the revision guide were raised on the TES forum, and on Twitter by children’s author and poet Michael Rosen.

Harriet Sellers, creative director of publisher Schofield & Sims, said that any similarity between its revision guide and the paper would be a coincidence.

Ms Sellers said: "We haven't seen the reading paper so can't be certain what point Michael Rosen is trying to make. If, however, he is implying that there is a marked similarity between our practice paper and the actual paper then this can only be down to coincidence and is simply testament to the rigour and quality of Schofield and Sims' revision and practice materials."

She added that the company does not publish online revision guides, but only publishes print products.

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