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Lost sats papers!

(45 Posts)
happy2bhomely Tue 14-Jul-15 13:09:54

So, the Head told me yesterday that we have a meeting on Wednesday morning to talk about why our sats results are delayed. Apparently the whole year group are missing their spelling and mental maths papers! It has affected 50 schools.

She told me that the children will be given their levels they reached without the missing papers. So a child who might have reached level 5, will be marked as a 4 because they will be missing marks from the other paper. She told me that it was still possible to reach level 5 if they scored high on the papers they do have, so all is not lost! hmm

I am so disappointed. We had issues with the sats regarding maladministration (I posted here about it) but was told it was not being taken any further. it's just one thing after another.

My daughter took the level 6 papers and it's not clear yet whether they have been affected.

I know that it's not the end of the world. DD has already been streamed for secondary using her teacher assessment levels, but she was looking forward to the results.

Is anyone else affected by this?

Schrodingersmum Tue 14-Jul-15 13:38:01

We're still waiting for SATS results which have mysteriously been delayed till Thursday, I wonder if we are one of the affected schools, watching now with interest

kgov1 Tue 14-Jul-15 13:39:00

I have never heard about anything like this happeneing before. Surely if the papers have gone missing, the school would have known about this for a while and wouldn't only just have found out. In that case, why haven't they told parents sooner?

I think the spelling and mental maths papers are 20 marks each so that is a lot of marks to lose. It could affect your daughter's level 6 result as she will need to get a level 5 on the 3-5 paper in order to get a 6.

If it were me, I would be asking more questions. How have they been lost and how were they sent? I think our school couriers them so there should be some traceability. Are you sure that the marks haven't been discounted due to maladministration based on what you have said? Like you said, it won't make much difference long term to your daughter but that isn't the point. Your daughter has worked hard for these SATS and should get the mark she deserves.

I would be really unhappy and would want a to be reassured this was unpreventable.

wheresthebeach Tue 14-Jul-15 13:46:23

That's an absurd thing to for the head to say - maths is out of 100 - two papers of 40, and mental maths out of 20. I think 5C starts at 79. So yessss, if they get a perfect score on one paper, and make one mistake on another they could scrape a 5C but that's a)unlikely for most of the kids aiming for a low to middle level 5 and b)really not the point.

Surely they have a system in place to extrapolate the marks from what they've got so it's fair - or simply they have to wait til the papers are found.

DeeWe Tue 14-Jul-15 13:59:43

Surely they would take it as a percentage and take out that paper, not just ignore it. So they would still need say 75% to get a level 5 or whatever.

I'm sure when papers have gone missing at GCSE level that has happened.

Just wonder if what has actually happened is that the school has received the results,thought they were disappointing and realised that they have just scored 0 in all the spelling and mental maths. The school is challenging this,as it's clearly an error, but it may take some time and they have to get the results out for the end of term so are preparing you for this, but hope they will get the real results when things are sorted-just not before the end of term.

Feenie Tue 14-Jul-15 14:42:10

The school's hands are tied on this - the examining board organises all the couriers, etc, and the levelling will be dictated by them if papers go missing.

happy2bhomely Tue 14-Jul-15 14:42:33

The head told me that there were cost cutting measures in place this year and so 'incompetent and barely literate' people have been used to mark and transport the tests. She mumbled something about the government. She definitely said that they have gone missing, not that they aren't being counted for any other reason. I did ask at what point did they go missing exactly, before or after they were marked! She said that they have not been returned to the school.

To be fair, this is the same head, who when I questioned her about the cheating in the level 6 spelling test, (a senior teacher told my daughter how to spell at least 4 of the words!) She told me that no one would take any action because I had clearly misunderstood what cheating means. They were simply helping.

She said that they are going to send a letter explaining the situation to their secondary schools.

I am hoping that things will be clearer after the meeting in the morning. I will update here.

Feenie Tue 14-Jul-15 14:54:08

The last person you should be reporting maladministration to is the Head - if this really took place, she could very well lose her job, so will not be admitting this to parents.

As you suspected, if this really happened then it's a very clear case of maladministration and needs to be reported. See the phone number at the bottom of this link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/key-stage-1-and-2-maladministration-investigation-procedures/key-stage-1-and-2-maladministration-investigation-procedures

Please ring them - they may be able to tell you the position re lost papers too.

BreconBeBuggered Tue 14-Jul-15 15:11:30

I thought markers had to be qualified teachers? Has that changed this year? All the markers I know are retired teachers.

There's a new automated marking system in place this year, where answers were scanned in to be marked electronically. I wouldn't be surprised if there had been some problems with this, though I'd have expected it to be more widespread if so. Giving a grade based only on the total marks in remaining papers seems utterly bizarre, and not something a school would be happy to accept. As a PP says, a level 4 grade would certainly mean no level 6 even if the L6 papers had been marked.

Schrodingersmum Tue 14-Jul-15 15:21:00

As parents will the school tell us the truth if we are one of the 50 schools. I only ask as DS sat all level 6 papers so if we are one of the 50 schools his results could be quite badly affected

Feenie Tue 14-Jul-15 15:39:29

There have been numerous problems with marking online:

www.tes.co.uk/news/school-news/breaking-news/pupils-could-be-given-%E2%80%98wrong%E2%80%99-marks-sats

Of course the school will tell you the truth, schrodingersmum - they will be as incensed as you are!

BreconBeBuggered Tue 14-Jul-15 15:45:42

I'll be interested to read OP's update tomorrow. Surely sizeable batches of missing SATs papers would have made a bit more of a news splash?

soapboxqueen Tue 14-Jul-15 16:04:07

Considering the almighty cock-ups in previous years, the media may not be that interested. It's nothing new.

All papers are picked up by couriers organised by the testing authority so the school themselves won't know where the problem was within the chain.

happy2bhomely Tue 14-Jul-15 16:26:46

As I posted on here at the time, I am certain that there was cheating. My daughter told me and she had no reason to lie. She knew it was wrong and I explained that it wasn't her fault. It definitely would have affected her score. She was told how to spell words that she did not know how to spell herself. It's not a grey area!

I did phone the helpline and told them what had happened. I was told that I would not be updated about the outcome. No one has been in touch for more details, so I'm guessing they decided to not take it any further. Would the school have to tell parents if this was the reason?

Do you think I should phone them again?

I spoke to the head because I was confused. I felt that she might be able to clarify what had happened. I didn't expect the response I got. She told me that they are allowed to help the children and looked at me like I was mad to even ask her. She told me, 'Your child is a level 6 student. She doesn't need help. It didn't happen. But even if it did, it is within the rules.' I also know that children were told before the tests that if a teacher taps on your desk, it means you need to check your answer.

This whole mess has pushed me towards home schooling. I am so sad that this is what school has become.

soapboxqueen Tue 14-Jul-15 16:52:23

Quite honestly, I don't know why it bothers you. It isn't going to affect your child and won't have had anything to do with why the papers being late.

There's a school close to me that always has amazing results, even more so considering their intake. They openly admit things that are a bit shady (obviously to other teachers etc not the media) and I think contravene the testing rules. However they were investigated and visited by both Ofsted and DfE who didn't see a problem, even though they were open about what they did.

It's a well known bone of contention within the LEA and my head went to visit to see if she could get any useful tips (she was from outside the LEA). She was shocked to put it mildly and refused to implement any of the tips.

Upshot: the whole thing is a joke.

mrz Tue 14-Jul-15 17:19:17

The papers were all scanned and marked on line so it seems very strange

mrz Tue 14-Jul-15 17:22:45

It most definitely is cheating if a teacher has been helping and could explain why papers are delayed ...

Feenie Tue 14-Jul-15 17:44:05

You wouldn't necessarily be told the outcome of an investigation, but if you reported maladministration and the school are now claiming there are missing marks then I would say the two are definitely linked.

There's no reason for you not to have told the head it was you who reported it, but you're a much braver person than me!

mrz Tue 14-Jul-15 17:58:53

It seems too much of a coincidence that you raise a concern about spelling and the spelling marks are delayed.

I've not heard any chatter about missing papers either in RL or on line and usually these things are talked about.

soapboxqueen Tue 14-Jul-15 18:12:38

I don't know. We had a couple of jokers trying to steal completed papers by impersonating couriers one year and that didn't even make the local news.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 14-Jul-15 18:14:20

It does seem very suspicious. The comment about the markers is a bit odd as well. It's the sort of comment you might make if you were trying to blame other people for a mistake you had made.

DeeWe Tue 14-Jul-15 20:38:22

To be fair, this is the same head, who when I questioned her about the cheating in the level 6 spelling test, (a senior teacher told my daughter how to spell at least 4 of the words!) She told me that no one would take any action because I had clearly misunderstood what cheating means. They were simply helping

That sounds to me like they have discounted all spelling marks because of concern about cheating. I suspect similar complaints have been made about the mental maths.

In GCSE if cheating is found they cancel a school's marks for that paper. Sounds much more likely this has happened.

mrz Tue 14-Jul-15 20:45:39

If cheating has taken place it's a very serious matter and treated as such

PicInAttic Tue 14-Jul-15 22:57:04

This makes me want to cry! As a Y6 teacher, in a RI school where the push for results is as you would expect, I'm horrified that teachers would tap on desks, give spellings, be shady etc. I understand the pressure (hmm) but it screws over colleagues, sets the kids up for 'failure' later and weakens an already distrusted system.
I agree with PP - seems likely that maladministration of some kind has happened and results been suspended. Am sure if papers were missing, they'd work on an equivalent percentage basis not just take raw score from the other papers.
Very annoying for the children after all their hard work though.

soapboxqueen Tue 14-Jul-15 23:03:33

You don't have to tell me about screwing over colleagues. The school I taught in was constantly being compared to the school I previously mentioned because we had a similar intake.

It was like a bizarre drug induced mind fuck having the sip from the LEA go on about how we should be getting results like the other school when everybody knew it was bloody shady.

Totally bloody pointless exercise.

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