Rise in primary test result changes following cheating or mistakes in administration

Increasing numbers of cases of 'maladministration' were reported following last summer's tests

Hundreds of children had their national curriculum test results changed or cancelled last year following cheating or mistakes in administering the papers, a Government report shows.

Increasing numbers of cases of "maladministration" were reported to the Standards and Testing Agency (STA) following last summer's tests, according to research.

Maladministration is any act that could jeopardise the "integrity, security or confidentiality" of the tests, the report says, which covers everything from papers being incorrectly opened, children cheating, pupils being "over-aided" by those conducting the tests, or changes being made to papers by someone other than the candidate.

The report shows that, in 2012, 370 cases were reported, up from 292 in 2011 - a 26.7% rise.

There were 168 cases reported in 2010, although it is thought the figures may have been lower that year due to a boycott of national curriculum tests by around a quarter of primary schools, while in 2009 the figure was 346.

The figures cover Key Stage 2 national curriculum tests - known as Sats - in English and maths which are taken by 11-year-olds in their final year of primary school, English writing and science sample tests, and higher Level 6 papers which are also all taken by 11-year-olds, and the Government's new reading, or phonics, test for six-year-olds.

In total, 584 pupils had their results changed or annulled last year, the report says, adding that this represents less than 0.1% of pupils who took part in the Sats tests.

A breakdown of the figures shows that 399 pupils at 20 schools had their English and/or maths Sats results cancelled, 70 children at one school had their English writing sample tests annulled, 114 pupils at 39 schools had their English and/or maths Sats results amended and one child at one school had a Level 6 maths test result changed.

The rise in maladministration is partly down to an increase in the number of phonics test cases reported, the STA suggested.

It added that another cause was an increase in the number of cases of schools administering the Sats tests at an unauthorised time, which could be due to changes allowing the tests to be rescheduled up to a week after the set dates.

More than three-quarters of cases of maladministration in the Key Stage 2 Sats tests happened while the papers were being sat, the report shows.

This included 94 cases of test administrators "over-aiding" children, up from 91 in 2011 and 28 cases of children cheating, compared with 25 in 2011.

A Standards and Testing Agency spokesman said: "Results were amended at only 58 primary schools - that amounts to fewer than 0.5% of the thousands of schools where pupils took the phonics check and the Key Stage 2 tests.

"In the vast majority of cases, no action needed to be taken because it was decided the schools were not guilty of maladministration."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Recruitment Genius: Nursery Pre School Practitioner

£6 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued expansion, they are loo...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development & Relationship Manager

£45000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Development & Relati...

Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant - Startup

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Personal Assistant is require...

Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)