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

Pupils who correctly positioned a semicolon were denied a mark for their answer

Adi Bloom

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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.”


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Adi Bloom

Adi Bloom is Tes comment editor

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