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Sats vs report grades

(26 Posts)
lem73 Wed 16-Jul-14 09:49:05

I wonder if there is anyone out there to explain something to me. My y6 son got his school report last week which stated he got a 5b in maths which was what he got in the mock sats and consistent with his test results since Christmas. However in his Sats he got level 4 in his test and in teacher assessment. I'm not going to question the test mark of course but how can they give him a 4 in teacher assessment and write a 5b in his report?
I'm not a pushy parent at all but he was disappointed so I felt sorry for him. Also a level 4 is at least 2 sub levels down so it is quite a difference.
Another question I have is what do secondary schools look at to set the pupils in year 7. I asked his head of year 7 yesterday and she said sats. I pointed out the sats are a flat level so how can they distinguish between the different levels. She said they consult with the primary school. So I'm wondering if the 5b in his report will carry some weight when they place him in a set.
As I said I'm not a pushy parent at all. I just want my kids to do their best and I don't think this sats result is his best and I don't want it to affect him at secondary.

smee Wed 16-Jul-14 10:33:00

Did his mates get similar disparities? If so it could be that the school's levelling is way out. If not then I guess he must have just not done the test as well as expected.

I'm no expert, but I wouldn't worry too much on secondary as most seem to retest early in year 7 anyway.

PastSellByDate Wed 16-Jul-14 10:43:00


I'd be curious about the discrepancy and if I were you I'd just enquire why that is.

I know that DD1 (who did go on to achieve NC L6 in maths - and for those of you who know me will know this was largely achieved through work at home) - but the Teacher assessment for SATs was L5 (in fact talking to other parents whose children achieved NC L6 - this was the pattern.

We've taken it to mean that the Teacher Assess a bit low - just to play it safe.

Maybe a teacher can come along and clarify - but I suspect there are risks in getting it too 'ought' one way or the other.

pointythings Wed 16-Jul-14 14:13:01

I'd question this disparity too. DD2 hasn't had her report yet, but she has had her SATs result - test and teacher assessed are side by side on the same sheet. They're perfectly consistent, though her TA score for reading and writing is a 6 and she didn't pass the official L6 reading test. (She passed the SPaG L6 though). I'm prepared to go with the teacher assessed levels on reading and writing just because they assess over a whole body of work rather than one test on one day, and because they have a strong external benchmarking system.

Her SATs and TA for maths are the same - L5. I'd ask some polite questions in your position.

lem73 Wed 16-Jul-14 14:44:40

Thanks for your comments. I'm very careful not to run into school every five minutes but I think I do deserve some clarification.

woodlands01 Wed 16-Jul-14 17:17:15

Yes, you need to understand why he achieved a level 4 vs a prediction of a level 5. The school have the papers and individual marks so will be able to analyse them and inform you better. Different secondary schools set in different ways but I doubt many 'consult' with the primary school. if your secondary school sets by SATs they may look at the teacher assessment BUT more probably they will look at the SATS sub level (5A/5B/5C). I know these are not official but most schools will generate the sub level based on the test marks.

RaisinBoys Wed 16-Jul-14 18:23:42

pastsellbydate teachers I know do not 'play it safe' by assessing low! I think that is a bit of an insult to the very many dedicated teachers who assess accurately (often not what the parent wants to hear!).

What is in it for y6 teachers to assess low? Your thesis makes little sense.

OP It sounds like your DS had an off day - it happens! Hope he's not feeling bad.

I would definitely query the disparities but would not be unduly worried about setting; secondary schools use baseline data (ks2 Sats) in conjunction with CATs and the child's work produced early in y7 to determine sets and in most schools, they are fluid.

Despite what is sometimes suggested on MN schools and teachers want the best for the children and want them to reach and exceed their potential.

RaisinBoys Wed 16-Jul-14 18:26:38

pointythings snap!

pointythings Wed 16-Jul-14 21:20:36

DD1 had a massive off day during her SATs 2 years ago and 'only' scored a 4 - her school was picked for external marking of writing, the last year they did writing before the SPaG. She was gutted.

Her secondary however sets on a mix of SATs, teacher assessment, first term in Yr7 and CATs, so she ended up in a set to suit her after autumn half term. She's now coming to the end of Yr8 and hitting L7 in English, so they can always blossom.

lem73 Wed 16-Jul-14 21:29:58

When I think about it objectively it makes no sense to put one level in the report and to give a different one for SATs teacher assessment. So what level is he?

PastSellByDate Thu 17-Jul-14 10:17:19


I don't think you read the OP's post correctly.

She's been told her son was working to NC L5 (in school report) and I suspect from parent/ teacher meetings or Targets. But the Teacher assessed (predicted) that her child would only score NC L4 and they did.

Now I do know that at our school completed KS2 SATs scripts were looked over by teachers - as I had the conversation with a teacher about how he'd looked over DD1's maths paper and she's done very well Mrs. PSBD.

Now I don't mean to say that there is any huge gain - but in order to avoid disappointed pupil/ parents - it may be safer to predict a 4 than a 5 in borderline cases.

Whether there are any issues about teacher's assessments being way out from actual achievement (i.e. teacher assessment is too lenient) - I don't know. However I do know at St. Mediocre roughly Teacher Assessment are as much as 20% out over the last 3 years. Which given that's ~ 6 pupils (cohort typically around 29/30) - that rather suggests more than one or two pupils having a bad day.


LEM 73

In terms of what level is he - the new secondary will measure progress for your child from his official KS2 SATs scores.


RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 17-Jul-14 11:30:20

But Past a teacher assessment isn't a prediction. It's an officially reported level based on a body of evidence throughout the year that is moderated to make sure that it is an accurate best fit. The whole cohorts can be reassessed if it is found to be out.

There will always be some children whose TA does not match their test level. It would be strange if that wasn't the case in a test where the difference between a level 4 and a level 5 is one mark. It doesn't mean that the teacher assessment is inaccurate. Particularly in a test where the thresholds are a moveable feast from year to year. And that's before you even take into account the children who might have a bit of a mare on test day because of the pressure.

In the Op's case the test level and the TA level do match so you could argue that that is an accurate level. What is strange is the fact that the TA level was given as 4 when previous tests since Christmas have given him a 5b. I think you would be within your rights to ask about how that happened, but you need to prepare yourself that there miay be a reasonable answer.

PastSellByDate Thu 17-Jul-14 12:17:05


Rafa - I take your point entirely. Thresholds are variable year on year - so it is incredibly difficult with borderline cases.

Teacher Assessment/ prediction of KS2 SATs performance is a 'dark art' not clearly explained to parents and certainly not released to parents (or I believe officially reported to LEA/ DofE via NCA Tools) until after KS2 NCT testing (KS2 SATs) week. (source:

I get that this is also very difficult - children aren't predictable - some may do outstandingly well on the day and others may fall to pieces. But my impression at St. Mediocre was that staff photocopied completed exams transcripts - and used these to 'finesse' their assessments.

I personally would prefer something verifiable:

Teacher assessments reported before SATs week (deadline before May of the exams' month) and sent electronically to parents.

Results - sent directly electronically to parents - with both school-wide results & national results (accepting these are 'provisional').

But I know that will never happen.

perhaps the solution is to make KS2 outcomes (not just progress) part of the OFSTED ratings system:

>80% NC L4+ = GOOD

I can see that in single form schools the argument of 'bad years' may come into play - but this could be accounted for with averaging performance over several school years (so calculating this average over 3-5 years performance data).

Toomanyhouseguests Thu 17-Jul-14 12:55:10

I have to back PSBD up on teachers assessing conservatively. I just had a very good teacher, who I respect and am grateful for, tell me just that. Bluntly.

It doesn't make teachers bad people, it's just the system they are in. These sorts of "pathologies" happen in all large organisations. And when you look at how conflicted a lot of the educational structure, directives, and incentives are, it's hardly any wonder.

lem73 Thu 17-Jul-14 19:36:02

I sent a note in this morning. The teacher spoke to me at the end of the day and said the results I was given were wrong. He achieved level 5s in everything except his writing teacher assessment. His original results were level 4s across the board. She assured me the secondary have been given the correct results as she did it personally.
She said she had not seen the results before they were given out but held back from blaming the school office. However it's unbelievable the school could get this wrong and they've spoiled it for my ds now as he felt really disappointed on Tuesday. Of course you have to wonder if he is the only to receive the wrong results.

spanieleyes Thu 17-Jul-14 20:19:29

Teacher assessments are reported to local authorities for onward transmission to Dfe BEFORE the test results are received in schools. And schools are measured by OFSTED on % achieving level 4, level 4b, level 5 and level 6. Schools below national averages for any of these are at danger of being graded requires improvement. If i recall, schools need to be around 84% L4B as a minimum.

PastSellByDate Sat 19-Jul-14 07:43:17


I'm just going to quote the governments guidance on teacher assessments 2014: source

"Data must be submitted to us via the ‘Teacher assessment’ section of the NCA tools website. The deadline for submissions is Friday 27 June."

Call me crazy - but I'm fairly certain the 27th of June would fall after SATs week ( 12-15 May 2014).

PastSellByDate Sat 19-Jul-14 07:50:33


St. Mediocre has failed to get 84% of pupils NC L4b+ for 5 years now - and yet is still rated GOOD. Not a whiff of 'special measures' on the horizon

for NC L4+ English/ Maths - we're floating at:

67% - 2009
IA - 2010
69% - 2011
62% - 2012
71% - 2013

I'm pretty sure that doesn't make you NC L4b+ 84% target.

mrz Sat 19-Jul-14 07:52:44

The data must be submitted to the LEA prior to that date. We had a huge panic because our LEA asked for data v early and we hadn't completed moderating writing levels (teacher new to Y6 wanted to get in some extra pieces because children can progress so much in that final half term).

PastSellByDate Sat 19-Jul-14 08:47:29


This is the link for services to education (the Quango) Birmingham LEA uses:

If you scroll down to Data Submission Deadlines (bottom middle column) - you'll get a link to a word document which has deadlines for Birmingham NCT testing:

for KS2 Teacher Assessments:

Data to be submitted to the STA:

•KS2 Teacher Assessments (Year 6 pupils): To be submitted between Monday 12 May 2014 till Friday 27 June 2014

Please submit the teacher assessments to the STA using the Teacher Assessment section of the NCA tools website at

so - yes some schools may submit TAs the week of KS2 SATs - but in good old Brum - it's after KS2 SATs.

Thus schools can photocopy pupil's scripts - look them over - decide the score roughly - and Teacher Assess accordingly.

But of course I haven't had that confided to me by teachers whilst waiting for ballet class to finish....

I get what you're trying to say is that in Durham we don't behave in this way - but PLEASE mrz - we've had these conversations before - this is Birmingham LEA (home of Trojan Horse & Proud)

...and let's not talk about the takeover of schools by charismatic Christians (parents/ staff/ governors)- and the removal of any discussion of evolution/ solar system/ dinosaurs - why anything suggesting life before 4000 BC. Let's spend more time on prayer/ religious themed assemblies than maths.

RustyBear Sat 19-Jul-14 08:53:59

Pastsellbydate - spaniel eyes said "Teacher assessments are reported to local authorities for onward transmission to Dfe BEFORE the test results are received in schools " not before the tests take place.

mrz Sat 19-Jul-14 09:08:03

Exactly! we don't know the results/thresholds until the 8th July and have to submit to LEA a month prior!

RustyBear Sat 19-Jul-14 09:08:06

PastSellByDate - are you saying that your child's school photocopies completed scripts before sending them off to be marked and uses them to guide Teacher Assessments?

Because that is strictly forbidden - see the test administration guide-

"Do not:
-Look at, annotate or review children’s answers in any way (unless it is necessary to make a transcript). If you amend or tamper with children’s answers in test scripts, it will be considered maladministration and results could be annulled.
-Keep or photocopy test scripts for any reason."

spanieleyes Sat 19-Jul-14 10:04:52

It would be more than any teacher's job's worth to photocopy test scripts before they are sent for marking!! Local authority moderators tour our schools on a regular basis during SATS week and can turn up at any time to check on handling of tests and test papers. After the test ours were taken straight to the office by both exam invigilators ( we have 2 people in each test ) and bundled ready for collection. Until they were collected they are kept under lock and key, the office adminsitrator keeps the key and is not allowed to open the filing cabinet unless two members of staff are present, the reason for opening is recorded in a log book, timed, signed and dated by both members of staff. The log is available to any LA moderator at all times.
Clearly you have problems with the staff in your school but PLEASE do not imply that this is widespread practice, the vast majority of teachers I know take their responsibilities extremely seriously and would be horrified at the suggestion that they are acting illegally.

clam Sat 19-Jul-14 10:11:51

Ah, was just about to point out that this was likely to be some sort of error, when I saw the OP's update.

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