Headteacher sacked from top Church of England school after 'answer-change' row

Stephanie O'Grady was involved in the altering of exam answers after the test was finished in 2014

Aftab Ali
Friday 26 June 2015 09:38
It was discovered that pupils' answers were changed - after the exam had finished
It was discovered that pupils' answers were changed - after the exam had finished

A school headteacher has been sacked amid claims that pupils’ answers were changed after a maths exam had finished.

Mental maths SATs results for 11-year-olds at the top St Patrick’s C.E. Primary Academy in Solihull, West Midlands, were deemed void after the claims were made in 2014.

Now, the primary school has confirmed former headteacher, Stephanie O’Grady, has been sacked because of the incident.

Chair of governors, Gemma Gathercole, described how appropriate disciplinary measures were implemented and that parents were kept fully informed throughout the process.

Insisting that procedures for test administration have been reviewed and made more “robust”, she added: “St Patrick’s C.E. Primary Academy is committed to providing an excellent rounded education, enabling our pupils to achieve their individual potential, within a caring and supportive Christian environment.

“We pride ourselves on high standards and high expectations.

“In this instance, the actions of one individual did not meet those expectations. We followed our disciplinary procedure and appropriate actions were taken.”

The exact details of the answer changes made remain unclear, but Mrs O’Grady was replaced by acting head – and now permanent head – Caroline Glennon, for the start of the 2014/15 academic year – after parents were told, in a newsletter, that Mrs O’Grady was off unwell.

A spokesman for the Standards and Testing Agency said: “Following an investigation into the administration of 2014 Key Stage 2 tests at St Patrick’s Church of England Primary Academy, a decision was made to annul the mental mathematics test for the whole cohort.

“Any instances of maladministration of the tests are completely unacceptable.”

In their most recent inspections, Ofsted and a separate Anglican schools standards body school rated St Patrick’s as outstanding.

The Birmingham Mail said yesterday it tried to contact Mrs O'Grady several times for comment, but that she could not be contacted.

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