Dis-Sat-isfied

23rd May 2008 at 01:00
It was interesting to read about the marking fiasco in the run up to Sats week ("Markers quit over 'fiasco'", TES, May 16), but you should have tried administering them!
It was interesting to read about the marking fiasco in the run up to Sats week ("Markers quit over 'fiasco'", TES, May 16), but you should have tried administering them!

First they failed to send the stationery envelope. That took three calls to sort out. Then the Braille envelopes didn't turn up. We were advised to go out and buy Jiffy bags, which cost us pound;35. Predictably, the Braille envelopes turned up on the second day of the tests in an unsealed broken box. We are now trying to reclaim the money.

And that was just for starters. During test week, I couldn't access the new online attendance registers until Thursday. I spent hours trying to get through to the helpline, which was constantly engaged. At one point, I was 54th in the queue - that was when they weren't cutting me off.

Given that these tests are pointless and damaging anyway, I think the least the Government could do is ensure they run smoothly. I couldn't manage my school in this way and get away with it. And then they wonder why there is shortage of heads.

Sue Bailey, Headteacher, Beechwood Junior School, Southampton.

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