High marks for absolute dross

25th July 2008 at 01:00

What a difference from this time last year! The TES was preparing to run an article concerning the loss of my English KS2 Sats papers. I was interviewed over the telehone. The TES asked direct questions of the Qualification and Curriculum Authority but the papers were eventually found, marked and returned. I received a telephone apology from an executive at the QCA. If the same were to happen this year to every school with a gripe, it would take until Christmas 2009.

Actually, we received all of our papers a week before the results were originally due. They were all marked and not one child's results were missing online. So I cannot complain. However, the marking is not accurate, especially in the writing, with some children writing a good piece and being marked down, while another child, writing absolute dross, was given a high level. I don't think they were read but skimmed and marked purely on presentation.

Many heads must be asking, "Should I appeal on the marking and will it affect the overall result for the school?"

I think headteachers, in general, will just submit papers for re-marking where the level will rise and this will skew results in the school's favour, but not for the individual child.

Jonathan Gardiner, Headteacher, Saint Mary's CofE Primary School, Kettering, Northants.

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