Teachers outraged as pupils marked down for correct answer in SPaG test

7th July 2017 at 10:47
Pupils who correctly positioned a semicolon were denied a mark for their answer

Teachers are taking to Twitter in outrage over pupils whose correct answer has been marked wrong by examiners in the spelling, punctuation and grammar Sats test.

Some children who accurately positioned a semicolon in a sentence have had their answer marked wrong, while others have been told their answer is correct.

Teachers remain baffled about the inconsistencies in the marking.





Attempting to work out why some pupils were marked down, teachers suggested that perhaps there was too much space between the two constituent parts of the semicolon.

However, others pointed out that pupils were hard-pressed to fit any punctuation at all into the space allocated: 


James Bowen, director of middle leaders’ union NAHT Edge says: “The general mood is that where children have quite clearly demonstrated they know what the correct answer and appropriate punctuation is, they should be awarded the mark.

"Markers having to fret about the angle of the line in a piece of punctuation or the exact space between a word and the piece of punctuation show that we have loss a sense of perspective when it comes to these tests and questions the very purpose of a SPaG test in the first place.

"This smacks of an approach to marking these tests which appears to be about catching children out on technicalities rather than recognising what they can do.”


Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow Tes on Twitter and like Tes on Facebook


Related Content

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now