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A reader for tests.. (SATS and 11+ related)

(14 Posts)
Frikadellen Thu 26-Dec-13 22:28:27

My dd3 is behind in reading (year 5 and a 2 A last official assessment - we have taken her for private lessons for near a year and the assessor there reads at a higher level with her but school says not in school)

In math she last had a 4 A obviously a huge difference.

lots of " intervention" has been put in but honestly we have not seen a lot of difference until we paid for the private tutor sadly this is currently out of reach financially (as dh was made redundant earlier in the year and not yet in long term employment) School continues with some but this is not what this post is about (just stating this so people dont mistake this for a suggestion list as to how to get her help)

School did some testing (informal) on her in early December and delightfully told me that with a reader (aka one who had read her out the questions and one who had typed down what DD3 had written in her story) dd3 had scored a 3B in English. School now wants to do this for SATS. I asked about the 11 + test if this was possible. Answer came back as a no.

Now my opinion with this is that it appears that the school wants the higher score for their own numbers and are able to legally do so from LEA however when my dd needs the help for her personal ability this aid is taken away. Hence I wish to state that I do not wish for her to have the reader for the Sats. for me this is about giving an "even playing field"

On speaking to a friend of mine she felt I was nuts at doing this. None of the 2ndary schools we are considering for her uses sats results for their grading so I am not concerned that dd3 will be placed in a wrong set for me it is merely a matter of my feeling that the school should not be able to gain something that they can not pass on to the child. To me in effect that is what will happen here.

I hope I have explained this well but I am kinda interested to hear other peoples comment. I do not even know if my stating I don't wish this to happen will actually stop it but I would hope so. we are in the UK btw and I don't as such have beef with the school that I wish to " punish" it is more that I feel this is unfairly slanted to get good numbers to the school.

kilmuir Thu 26-Dec-13 23:44:48

To be blunt at her current levels she would struggle to pass the 11 plus. Or rather she may pass but then struggle with the workload when she was there.
Why should primary pay for a reader for 11 plus, its nothing to do with them

Frikadellen Fri 27-Dec-13 00:40:37

Kilmuir why should she have a private reader to get their levels up when it wont do anything for her is my argument? IMO that money would be better spent helping a child that is actually struggling.

I am aware that the reading level is low However you can likely see the huge difference in the levels my argument is not so much she OUGHT to sit the11+ (she will decide if she wishes to just like her siblings did 2 has 1 hasn't - at the moment she is at no ) it is that if the school should have an advantage so should my child.

mrz Fri 27-Dec-13 09:49:05

She can only have a reader and/or scribe for the SATs if the school is able to show that is what happens normally in class so they would need to provide this daily.
There isn't a writing test so there is no advantage to the school in the scenario you describe.

amistillsexy Fri 27-Dec-13 10:02:43

Unless the rules have changed (again!), children can't have a reader for the reading test, and since her maths is ok, I don't see what advantage she would gain from having a reader anyway.
Your stance on this is interesting, op. I have dealt with sats and arranged for extra support for children, and am now facing my own ds 'needing' a lot of extra support if he is to access the sats at all. I hadn't thought of it in the way you are doing, so it is food for thought. Thank you, sorry I can't be more help.

spanieleyes Fri 27-Dec-13 10:30:48

You can't have a reader for the reading test ( although you can have a scribe for the answers!) so a reader would only be used for the maths test ( which she doesn't seem to need) or for the SPAG test ( which she might). But in my authority you can have a reader for the 11+ ( and indeed one of my children did so last year) This was after EP assessments etc and as part of normal classroom practice however.

Frikadellen Fri 27-Dec-13 10:41:38

This is interesting information as I have been told that they can have it just for the SAT's both in writing and reading (She does not generally receive this in class) and never for the 11+ - I am in Kent (Sevenoaks county)

To me it feels like the school can artificially bump up their scores by providing this " service " claiming it is "for the child's benefit" when I do not actually feel it is at all.

Interestingly the acting head actually understands my point of view and is not phased by my saying that this is how I feel but has never dealt with the situation before. (She is only acting head from this Jan as head has just left)

The E Phys said in her report that her reading ability holds her back in Math in particular. (odd child fgrin <-- said very fondly) & actually more emphasis is placed on this than her lack of reading.

mrz Fri 27-Dec-13 10:44:33

There isn't a writing test.

Eligible circumstances for using a reader

The use of a reader must be normal classroom practice and schools must have evidence to show that resources are routinely committed to providing this support. A reader must only be used on a one-to-one basis. In most cases, this will apply to children whose reading age is considerably lower than their actual age.

Readers are usually teachers or support assistants but do not need to be specialists in the subject being tested. They should be able to read accurately and at a reasonable speed. They must not be another child at the school or a relative, carer or guardian of the child.

Before the test period, the school needs to make sure readers understand:

the test format and style
their role, including what may and may not be read to a child in particular test
any subject-specific issues that might occur.

Children must not read their answers to a test administrator, unless they are working on a one-to-one basis with a test administrator in a separate room.

English reading tests

The reader may help the child to read the general instructions. This includes information on the front cover of the test paper and any directions that are not part of the actual questions, for example ‘These questions are about the story of Quiet Heroine.’ The reader must not read the questions on the paper to the child or read back any of the child’s responses.

English grammar, punctuation and spelling tests

Readers will be allowed for the English grammar, punctuation and spelling test if it is part of normal classroom practice. Examples of how the Short answer questions papers can be read to a child are provided in the Notes for readers in the English grammar, punctuation and spelling test: short answer questions.

Mathematics tests

A reader may help a child to read any part of the mathematics tests, including:

reading signs, symbols and numbers. Symbols may be read but the process or operation should not be indicated
clarifying instructions, as long as no additional information is given and the assessment is not invalidated
reading, but not clarifying, subject-specific vocabulary
referring a child back to the previous part of the question in multipart questions.

A child may need more than single words or sentences read to them. Some children’s identified needs, for example their individual education plan, will show that they need the whole question paper read to them so that they can access the test. Where this is the case, schools should consider testing the child in a separate room.

If a child requests it, the reader may also read back any part of a child’s

Frikadellen Fri 27-Dec-13 15:08:34

Ty Mrz

So basically since the school is not providing a reader for dd3 they should not be giving her the " help" anyway?


ClayDavis Fri 27-Dec-13 18:35:39

It might be that if they've assessed her with a reader now and know that it does improve her assessment then they will start to use a reader in class. I think I would be tempted to take in the info mrz gave and ask them what they intend to do to support her in class if they are going to insist on giving her a reader for the yr 6 SATS.

The 11+ is a completely different kettle of fish. I think the people to speak to are the LEA or whoever sets the tests to ask about reasonable adjustments. My guess is extra time is about the best you will get.

How good is her confidence and how likely is she to see not passing as a 'fail'? I know you said the choice was up to her but with those levels, even with the reader she is highly unlikely to pass. If there's any chance she would take it negatively I would be steering her in the direction of not taking it and playing up the positives of the non-selective schools.

spanieleyes Fri 27-Dec-13 18:43:19

But they CAN'T give her a reader for the SATs reading test-apart from just to read the instructions ( which she can probably read on her own) So for levelling purposes the test score she achieved previously is unsupported. ( I'm not sure whether a mark was given for the writing element of the tests given, the OP mentions typing up a story. A scribe could possibly be justified for writing ( again if normal practice) and could be used for any writing assessments and to scribe answers in a reading test. But a reader isn't.

mrz Fri 27-Dec-13 19:27:23

Writing is teacher assessed over the whole year with a level reported so no advantage in having a reader. It may be a reader would help in maths but her level suggests she is managing to read the instructions

ClayDavis Fri 27-Dec-13 20:00:06

It would have been much more useful if they'd also done a maths test with a reader to see if it affected her level in that.

I get the feeling that the SATs/11+/reader issue might be a bit of a red herring or just a side issue and the main problem is actually that the school aren't supporting the OP's DD as well as they should be. I'm not sure how far you'd get tackling that though if they decide to dig their heels in.

Frikadellen Sat 28-Dec-13 13:44:05

ClayDavis I don't actually have a issue with how they are supporting her right now I feel it is " almost" right (I have some niggles but I think you always will). They have finally (after I found some research to back up what I was saying) agreed to try it out in a way that I feel will be more beneficial to dd3 and it helps both her Y3&4 plus current Y5 teacher feels I am on the right track so have put their support behind my wish (To not go to heavy into phonics as she loathes them and to not take her out of the class room to do her additional support as she very much minds being singled out and views it as her being "singled out" )

At the moment dd doesn't actually wish to take the 11+ it is more of a matter of my feeling it ought to be a even playing field. What i find interesting here is that it appears the x head has told me an "embellishment of the truth"

I shall be speaking to her teacher and the acting head in January. I am still not decided what I will do with regards to this however I have over a year before her SATS so I have time to research etc.

I know it can appear from what I am saying that I am anti the school I really am not for me it is actually a bigger issue I am looking at. However what I find interesting here is that it looks like at best either school is misinformed or they misinformed me and at worst they plan on not following rules.. (As she doesn't have a reader nor any plans to have one)

I will make an appointment and discuss with the school.

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