Four schools still face investigation

16th July 1999 at 01:00
FOUR south London headteachers are being questioned about their national test procedures after a detailed script analysis failed to prove that their pupils had not benefited from the most serious attempt yet to cheat the test system.

An analysis of their pupils' scripts did not convince an independent team of specialist markers that the leak had not boosted performance in comprehension tests for 11-year-olds.

However, the rest of the borough's 60 primary schools were given the all-clear after an investigation of pupils' scripts proved they had not been coached to answer the test.

Wandsworth council was leaked details of this year's key stage 2 English test by an official from the Government's own test body, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. He told a former colleague, by then a senior officer at Wandsworth Council, that the test would be on the theme of spiders and would include a comprehension exercise based on a poem. She told two junior colleagues in her team who then began systematically briefing schools about what would be in the test.

A QCA spokesman said: "In the vast majority of cases, the markers have found no evidence to suggest that pupils had prior knowledge of the content of the tests or that they had been coached to give particular answers. In four schools investigations are continuing into some children's scripts."

The QCA official was given a final written warning and transferred from the authority's test team to a different post within the organisation after an internal inquiry found that he was responsible for the leak. The three Wandsworth officers were given final written warnings and the senior official was demoted.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today