Primary schools appeal against more than 15,000 KS2 reading test results

Requests for reviews drop in all subjects compared with last year – and the proportion of successful reviews falls

Statistics released by the government this week has shown that schools have appealed against the marking of more than 15,000 Key Stage 2 reading tests this year.

Figures show that the 15,420 reading tests put forward for review were requested by 5,637 schools across the country.

This has shown a considerable drop from last year, with 2016 having 6,314 schools asking for reviews of the reading test.

This year there were also 2,980 schools which wanted a total of 6,244 grammar, punctuation and spelling tests to be reviewed and 1,854 schools which asked for reviews of 2,990 maths papers.

Maths most likely topic for a successful review

In total, 8.5% review applications were successful, meaning that they resulted in a change to whether a pupil achieved the expected standard or not, or a change of three or more marks to the raw score.

However, the highest proportion of successful reviews was for the mathematics test, for which 10.5% of applications were successful.

Similarly, the proportion of successful English grammar, punctuation and spelling reviews was 10.3% and 7.4% of English reading review applications were successful.


Source: Department for Education

The marking in the grammar, punctuation and spelling paper caused an outcry earlier this year when it was revealed that there were numerous examples of answers which, according to the official mark scheme, appeared to be incorrectly marked.

However, it later emerged that markers had been given further marking guidance that was not available to schools; and something markers were instructed to get rid of after using.

The government then refused a freedom of information request for the markers’ guidance, saying disclosure would add to teachers’ workload, which ‘is likely to risk adding to teacher and, in turn, pupil stress’ and that ‘less experienced or less confident teachers’ could misunderstand it.

This year, 61 per cent of children reached the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics – a rise from 2016 when 53 per cent of pupils reached the expected standard in the three Rs.


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