Sats spelling exam accidentally published months ago as practice paper

The Government has been left red-faced after it emerged a primary school spelling test was accidentally published online as a practice paper.

The Key Stage 1 Sats examination was accidentally uploaded in January on the Standards and Testing Agency website along with other practice papers.

Unions are now urging the Government to scrap this year’s KS1 spelling, grammar and punctuation test due to the accidental leak online. Russell Hobby, the General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, has written to Schools Minister Nick Gibb about the issues, stating that this “serious error” meant schools could have “little faith in any standard setting exercise that may emerge from the pre-test trials.”

The error was only discovered when teachers at the schools taking part in piloting the new tests this week recognised the questions.

The Government has admitted to a “serious error” and an inquiry has now been launched.

Only a limited number of pupils have taken the test as part of an initial trial, but the Department for Education has asked teachers not to share its content.

The DfE commented on the issue saying: “This is clearly a serious error and we have launched an immediate investigation to understand how it happened.

“The material has been removed from our website. Fortunately, this is a Key Stage 1 test which is provided to schools to support Teacher Assessment judgements.

“The data used to judge the performance of schools and the progress children are making at Key Stage 1 are teacher assessment judgements. The results of these tests are not collected. Nonetheless it is deeply regrettable that it has happened.

“We ask that if anyone has seen the material, they do not share it further so that the test remains helpful for those teachers who have not yet used it with their pupils.”

Further reading

Government urged to scrap test after it was published online (The Guardian)

Primary school spelling test leaked online before Sats exam (The Telegraph)

Sats test leak makes a ‘mockery’ of the exam system, says teacher who discovered mistake (The TES)

Scrap KS1 spelling and grammar test following paper leak, heads urge government (Schools Week)

Sats spelling test was on practice paper (BBC)


2 thoughts on “Sats spelling exam accidentally published months ago as practice paper

  1. Pingback: North East MPs grill Nicky Morgan over academy plans – SCHOOLS NorthEast Blog

  2. Pingback: ‘Rogue marker’ leaked Sats test paper the day before exams – SCHOOLS NorthEast Blog

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