Letters Extra: Demoralising KS3 SATs experience

12th February 2004 at 00:00
So, the official view is that Shire Oak Secondary is only "one school in nearly 5,000 which took the KS3 SATs" is it? Well it may be, but it is not the only one to experience the problems you reported last week. My school has had identical trouble two years running, as have many others.

In 2002 it took me about forty hours of work to achieve acceptable changes. This year, the only reason it took me about ten hours is the support of a Deputy Head who shouldered the lion's share of the task. My department is deeply demoralised by the experience. And I am angry that it still took me the equivalent of two working days to get any satisfaction.

Apropos, I have just received the "Standards at KS3" report. It seems to be missing its introduction. I have searched everywhere for a paragraph running as follows:

"We are sorry that we did not formally notify schools of major changes to English SATs until late October. We also apologise for failing to issue hard copies of exemplar new SATs exam papers until the Spring term - only three months before the real thing. Schools across the country therefore deserve the very highest praise for maintaining a professional approach and produced remarkably high levels of achievement."
Colin Padgett
Audley End
Essex

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