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How common is cheating on SATs?

(16 Posts)
curlew Fri 21-Jun-13 13:20:52

"the governor's children had the teachers go through their tests and change all the wrong answers (on the extension paper so they would get level 6s"

And you know this happened exactly how? Presumably they were always Mary and won the Easter Bonnet competition too........

youcouldnevermakeitup Fri 21-Jun-13 13:14:51

Knowing what I know now, I would never take notice of league table results (actually I never have). I have previously been more interested in SATS results.

Unfortunately we have incontrovertible evidence that 'results manipulation' went on in our DCs primary, but at KS1 level, in terms of deflating grades for higher value add. In order to show fantastic progress to ofsted however, you have to adjust the levels from entry. In addition to the many and various pieces of written evidence we hold, our DC made thumping great progress upon moving to a new school and being tested by NFER standardised tests. For example, 5 sublevels progress in 6 months in one subject and 3 sublevels in 6 months in another subject (6 sublevels over the year). All subjects have come in at levels 4 and 5 during year 3. I'd love to put this down to our new school or my amazing DC but I know it is not down to either of these.

If this can go on at KS1, I have no doubt that it could go on at KS2 when the stakes are even higher. Where does cheating stop with the many statistics that are collected on schools to ostensibly show how effective they are?

One of our favourite interviews is Adam Boulton interviewing Mary Bousted (General Secretary of one of Teachers unions) about the fact that KS1 results had n't increased much in years and that we had fallen behind other countries. They got into some ridiculous academic argument regarding the word 'improvement'. What we found hilarious was that, in all fairness, KS1 results probably have improved. It is just that because they are now internally assessed, it is simply not in their interests to show improved KS1 results as it affects 'value add' rating and league table positions. Until the advent of level 6, they could not show (the very necessary 2+ sub levels of progress to get an ofsted outstanding) if you scored a child 3b or 3a at KS1 there simply was not enough 'headroom' between KS1 and KS2.

JRY44 Mon 17-Jun-13 23:23:06

My comment would be that lots of pupils come in with grades at a higher level than they actually are - they can do a text but not use in a different context. It is not cheating but it is stressful for primary teachers to get good grades and not helpful for secondary school teachers to have to make x levels of progress.

megsmouse Mon 17-Jun-13 23:18:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Feenie Sun 16-Jun-13 16:26:42

I have heard that some more able children are coached for SATS and the less able are not 'invited' to sit the SATS tests!

Not sure what you mean by 'coached' - but many schools do nothing but revision in Y6, which is awful practice, obviously.

Less able can't be invited not to sit tests - they would go down as minus 4% or whatever whether they sat them or not, that's rubbish.

Catsnotrats Sun 16-Jun-13 16:14:03

swimmingwithsharks where is your evidence for this? Every single teacher I know who gets an outstanding works hard and does so consistently. To get an outstanding on an individual lesson every single child must be engaged and learning for the entire period of the observation. You need to demonstrate that they are making progress (in that individual lesson), that it is pitched to each individuals' needs and that the teacher is constantly assessing and adapting the lesson as it progresses. You can't do that on the bare minimum!

Yes many children are coached for the tests (which will happen for any test when the results have an impact on the school) but lower ability can't be 'uninvited' to sit the tests. A few sen children won't sit them because they are working at a level below what is being tested, but they are still counted in the school's statistics.

spanieleyes Sun 16-Jun-13 16:07:49

Any child working ( in Year 6) at level 3 or above sits the tests, those working below don't, it isn't a question of "not inviting" them!

Ponders Sun 16-Jun-13 16:05:18

I know one of the Y6 teachers at my kids' school used to say that they always stuck to the rules & none of the staff saw the papers until the day of the test, but that other schools were a lot less strict.

Dunno how he knew that, mind!

Swimmingwithsharks Sun 16-Jun-13 15:58:48

Wow I am shocked but not surprised by the cheating going on in schools. SATS make the teaching staff jump about like they are on a skillet. Besides the cheating, what shocks me is the low level that OFSTED must appraise the teaching. Often teachers who do the bare minimum get an outstanding appraisal. I have heard that some more able children are coached for SATS and the less able are not 'invited' to sit the SATS tests!

clam Sun 16-Jun-13 14:34:32

A former colleague's husband used to mark KS2 English SATs. One school's papers came in with loads of miraculous "self-corrections," for example 'speshul' where the child seemed to suddenly remember that it should have been 'special.'
He reported the school but nothing was done.

MirandaWest Sun 16-Jun-13 14:29:31

Here it is. Not sure how it came to light and hopefully isolated incident.

MirandaWest Sun 16-Jun-13 14:25:40

There's a school near me where the head teacher did something dodgy with KS2 SATS a couple of years ago. Think he's been barred from teaching now.

StuffezLaYoni Sun 16-Jun-13 14:23:44

My friend does boosters in a school near me and works with groups of very low ability children, who she says should never be entered into the SATs as they don't have a reasonable chance of getting a level three. Every year she's been there she says the Head takes this group and administrates them in her office and miraculously the vast majority come out with fours.
This is an Outstanding school in the North East and it makes my blood boil.

I do remember when I sat them years ago, and my Head stood behind me an pointed to an answer I'd got wrong until I changed it.

Feenie Sun 16-Jun-13 14:19:01

Headteachers have been known to have been prosecuted or lose their jobs in previous years - it's very serious, and does happen.

I don't think it's widespread though.

olibeansmummy Sun 16-Jun-13 14:01:44

Well it didn't happen in our school we just sent what they did ( I'm a TA in year 6).

megsmouse Sun 16-Jun-13 13:38:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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