Axminster school’s SATs results annulled

PUBLISHED: 14:59 30 September 2015

Axminster Primary School

Axminster Primary School


Investigation finds that Year 6 pupils at Axminster Primary Academy were ‘over-aided’ during the tests

Axminster Primary Academy’s year six SATs results have been annulled following an investigation into the way they were conducted.

The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) has found that pupils were ‘over-aided’ during the administration of the national curriculum tests.

Deputy director Amanda-Jane Balfour has told the school: “This was not confined to just the pupils whom you have confirmed had support from a prompter during the tests.

“Additionally, there is doubt about the integrity of the mental maths papers as there is evidence that some changes may have been made to pupils’ answers after the tests were completed.”

Now the chairman of governors of Axminster Primary Academy, Jane Rockett, has written to parents of the former year six pupils, acknowledging the hard work by pupils towards their SATs, and expressing her disappointment at the STA findings.

She said: “On behalf of the governors, we would like to apologise to all the affected pupils for how their SATs tests were conducted and the failings of the school to correctly administer them.”

The administration of the SATs is delegated to individual schools, but the Acorn Multi Academy Trust (MAT) has already begun an internal investigation following the allegations.

“Please be assured that appropriate action will be taken against any member of staff where there is evidence that they were complicit in the maladministration of the tests,” continued Mrs Rockett.

“Staff from Acorn MAT will be working closely with Axminster Primary Academy to ensure that robust and transparent procedures are introduced so that this can never happen again in the future.”

Andrea Rice, executive head of the Acorn MAT, which includes Axminster Primary Academy, St Andrew’s School, in Chardstock, Mrs Ethelston’s Primary School, in Uplyme, Marshwood and Membury Primary Academies, said: “I can assure parents of children at the school, and the wider community, that we are taking these findings extremely seriously.

“An internal investigation has begun, and we will get to the bottom of it.”

It is understood that the secondary schools to which the former year six pupils have now started their new terms are undertaking baseline assessments to identify what levels they are working at, and whether any additional support is needed.

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