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Sats week: What to expect

Tests bring 136 pages of guidance to be absorbed


This week’s Sats will see teachers faced with an intense amount of bureaucracy, far exceeding that of any internal school test.

The tests, used to rank school performance, may be stressful for both pupils taking them and teachers who face a heavy administrative workload.

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In classrooms, wall displays must be covered, pupils’ seats arranged so they cannot read each other’s papers and the school’s full name and Department for Education number shown on the board so pupils can copy these on to their papers.

There are at least 136 pages of guidance for teachers relating to Sats, with the core Sats document being 60 pages of statutory guidance on assessment and reporting arrangements.

There are also 34 pages of test administration guidance, and 32 pages on access arrangements for children with specific needs – requiring such detailed information as whether a child can read at 90 words per minute with fewer than five errors per 20 words.

Two members of staff must collect the pack of sealed question-and-answer papers from the place where they have been securely stored. This will be recorded in the school’s Sats log.

The sealed pack is taken into the Year 6 classrooms and opened in front of the pupils. Completing the attendance register and dispatching scripts requires reading 21 pages of instructions.

Once all this is complete, posting the papers with their transparent and green-and-white bags is then a nine-step process.

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