Can school deny my request to have a copy of SATS papers

(31 Posts)
spicygal Tue 21-Jun-16 20:59:07

Hi

Long time lurker but thought I'd throw this out there for advice. does anyone know whether the school can grant a request for me to have a copy of my daugther's year 2 SATS papers? I emailed a request, but am finding the school isn't giving me a straight yes/ no answer. They have suggested I can come and take a look onsite, but I really just want copies to have a look at, at home. Has anyone managed to get copies or does anyone know whether there is a particular reason why u couldn't just have a copy? Thanks in advance

ReallyTired Tue 21-Jun-16 21:33:12

Why on earth do you want your child's SAT papers. Surely the looking in your child's books or seeing them at play tells you more about their development. SATs are just one test. They aren't even the sole tool for assessment.

I think that an issue is that photocopying your child's SAT papers is a lot of work. Children write in booklets by hand.

If you want to help your child then I suggest you ask your child's teacher where you should focus your efforts.

GraceGrape Tue 21-Jun-16 21:39:36

Why does it make any difference if you have them at home rather than look at them onsite? I believe the schools are now provided with a copy of each child's paper online so I'm not sure they get the paper copies returned. Even if they did, if they make copies for you to take home, every other parent could request the same. Making that number of copies would be both tome consuming and expensive - each test contains several pages.

GraceGrape Tue 21-Jun-16 21:40:21

time-consuming that should say.

steppemum Tue 21-Jun-16 21:53:50

schools are very reluctant to let SATs papers out, not because of this years kids, but because they are useful tools to prepare next year's kids for their tests. if the papers get out into the community, then it is possible the kids have seen them in advance.
I think that is why they are happy to let you look onsite.

Floggingmolly Tue 21-Jun-16 21:56:24

What exactly do you plan to do with them? Surely not demand a re-mark??

ParadiseCity Tue 21-Jun-16 21:59:05

I suspect there is some sort of clause, because the test writers probably don't want to give away the format, but I don't know. It was all such a stitch up this year I don't blame you for wanting a copy. I'm curious and would love to see what DC put when it came to the crunch...

BlackDoglet Tue 21-Jun-16 22:03:04

Do you mean a copy of the papers she sat or her actual completed papers?

Coconut0il Tue 21-Jun-16 23:26:47

They may be used to assess future children. Lots of old Sats papers are available on line but the old 2007 and 2009 papers were kept in schools and not available as they were used for assessment each year.
I'm sure if you ask the teacher what areas your daughter struggled with they could tell you. If this is why you want to see them?

Wolfiefan Tue 21-Jun-16 23:29:10

I'm confused. Do you want her completed paper or a copy of the test she sat? And why? confused

Feenie Wed 22-Jun-16 06:59:06

the schools are now provided with a copy of each child's paper online

That's Y6, not Y2.

SanityClause Wed 22-Jun-16 07:02:46

They haven't refused to let you see them; they've just asked that you go into the school to do so.

So, if you want to see the papers, make time to go in and do it.

SybilEngineer Wed 22-Jun-16 07:07:34

Is anyone going to answer OP's question?

Hulababy Wed 22-Jun-16 07:08:10

The thing is because it's a booklet and not separate sheets it can be time consuming to photocopy. Now one person might be fine but once one person gets it, you find lots may follow suit , which isn't to be encouraged for many reasons not least time!

This is a busy time for schools with summer events such as end of year shows and sports day, and transition for next year.

Plus many schools are having moderation of year 2 and year 6 especially right now.

Extra admin stuff isn't ideal.

You've not been refused access - you can go in and view it. You could probably get away with taking a photo of each page or making notes if you really want.

I think sometimes people forgot that they are one of many - it might only be a 10 minute job or so for one person but multiply that by 30, 60, 90 or whatever and its huge!

mrz Wed 22-Jun-16 07:20:20

The school has to supply you with the results of the tests if you want them they don't have to supply you with a copy of the test ...they may but they don't have to.

MissClarke86 Wed 22-Jun-16 07:29:08

I teach year 2 and I don't think there's any legal reason why you can't (as its now way past the May test window) but I'd rather not for the following reasons.

Paperwork (cost of photocopying and time..there are two papers, each one is a fair few pages long and one of them requires a seperate reading booklet.)

Risk of every other parent then asking for the same (repeat above X 30!)

Chance that if every parent knows what was in the test this year and uses it with children next year, that test has then already been seen and teachers can't use it to prepare children as a practice.

The reading test in particular was quite unfair. It was very challenging, particularly for children who don't speak English as their first language and put them at a disadvantage. For this reason, I wouldn't want parents to be making their own assumptions about the paper without a professional conversation about my own opinions of it!! Parents also don't know how the scaled scores work and there could be lots of misconceptions without having that chat alongside the teacher. I could suggest what is and what is NOT important as the child's next steps.

I would much rather talk a parent through it than spend time/money on photocopying and then risk the parent making inaccurate judgements and potentially feeling stressed by what they see. (E.g just because a child scored poorly on the test it doesn't necessarily mean they are a poor reader - it could just be test style of phrasing of questions. I wouldn't want at parent to then force that child into reading or doing reading comprehension every day and risk tainting their love of reading.)

melonribena Wed 22-Jun-16 07:29:20

They are used to inform teacher assessment but scores of sat papers are not required to be reported. They will be used along with other evidence to reach a judgement on your child.

Why do you need them? I've taught y2 for many many years and have never been asked for copies

ReallyTired Wed 22-Jun-16 07:41:26

I think the school are incredibly generous offering you time to come in and look, especially as would require a teacher time to supervise you. In fact the teacher may well be able to explain the scoring and where your child's needs to focus next year.

chamenager Wed 22-Jun-16 10:58:24

The reading test in particular was quite unfair. It was very challenging, particularly for children who don't speak English as their first language and put them at a disadvantage. For this reason, I wouldn't want parents to be making their own assumptions about the paper without a professional conversation about my own opinions of it!! Parents also don't know how the scaled scores work and there could be lots of misconceptions without having that chat alongside the teacher.

You see, this is the kind of attitude that I find patronising; it makes me cross. I was raised bilingually, am raising bilingual children and I have educated myself in the matter, and I would wager that I understand the specific issues involved better than 99% of primary school teachers. Also, MY bilingual children are not 'the average' bilingual children (none are); and I know the PARTICULAR issues that they have better even than specialists on bilingualism do.

So actually yes I might want to discuss such an English/reading test with you, but in order for you to learn from me, rather than in order for you to explain my child with their specific situation regarding bilingualism to me.

Also, stating that parents don't know how scaled scores work is condescending. It is actually easy to find out how they work, it took me all of five minutes.

I appreciate that not all parents are very involved with their children's education. But what you are saying is that because for SOME parents it is absolutely important to have that meeting with the teacher alongside, you won't let ANY parent have e.g. a copy of SATS papers; that they may comb through it with a much finer-toothed comb than you could, in their own time, and applying their own specific expertise. And perhaps reach extremely helpful conclusions that they could then share with you and would enable you to teach them better. Or that they could use to support their children better at home.

SATS papers inform teacher assessments, along with all the other work the children do throughout the year. Has anyone considered that SATS papers might also inform parent assessments - along with all the other work a parent has done with their child throughout the year?

Schools keep on about parent-school partnerships and information sharing and such. In truth they won't let me see my child's work for fear that I might misinterpret something. When in fact some parents are highly educated; in their own children's specific issues (be it hearing loss, their child's particular expression of autism, bilingualism, giftedness, ...), in pedagogy, in subject matters - sometimes more educated and/or more experienced than their children's teachers. But all too often schools refuse to make use of that expertise.

So OP, yes I can see good reasons for wanting to not just see, but be able to spend some time carefully going through my child's SATS papers. In my case I could use them for example to detect phrasings deriving from our other language that my child transposed into English. The teacher would not be able to do that as she has zero notion of our other language. Or I could identify why certain questions caused difficulty, due to our specific cultural background. I could then use this to help my child make progress with such issues caused by our specific case of bilingualism. These are things that won't be addressed at school, as long as my child's English is good enough; so school won't ever help him progress with this. I would share my findings with the teacher if they were interested; most likely they wouldn't be. Most schools are only interested in aspects of bilingualism if a child is 'behind' in English. They often don't understand that even a child whose English is as good as their peers', can have specific issues regarding bilingualism that they need to work through. And even if they do understand this, they rarely have the resources to support an able child with something that is not precisely in the curriculum. (E.g. understanding our other language's phonetic code would help my child in multiple ways, including in his English; but I don't expect school to support him in learning our other language.)

If school won't share my child's work with me (and SATS papers are just one instance of their work), then I have to make my child do more work at home in order to be able to make such assessments. So should I set them SATS papers at home? I'd much rather just analyse the SATS papers they have already sat! They are at school for the best waking hours of their days, I do not wish to make them do more work at home, simply because school won't share their school work with me.

Ellle Wed 22-Jun-16 13:57:17

The reading test in particular was quite unfair. It was very challenging, particularly for children who don't speak English as their first language and put them at a disadvantage.
That's not always the case. DS1 speaks a different language at home, spends half of his time speaking/reading/writing in a different language than the one he uses at school. But his reading and comprehension skills are above average compared to some of his peers whose first and only language is English.

Chance that if every parent knows what was in the test this year and uses it with children next year, that test has then already been seen and teachers can't use it to prepare children as a practice.
I don't understand how can this be a reason, as the tests are already available online and any parent could use them as practise test with children next year if they wanted to.

The other reasons given (time and cost of making copies and other parents requesting the same) are okay, I can understand and accept them as good reasons.

Anyway, if the SATs results are shared and the parents already have the tests that can be found online, then there's probably no need to have copies of the actual booklets.

It's all down to how the school and teachers communicate with the parents. I've always been able to see DS's books at open evenings and parents evening and felt that the teacher was in the same page as me regarding DS's progress. So even if I don't necesarily see his books or work from school daily or weekly, I have a high level of trust on the teachers and the end of year reports and parents evening's reports have been spot on.

Badbadbunny Wed 22-Jun-16 15:34:30

OK, not SATS, but I have been known to insist on sight of end of year test papers for my son in his early years at secondary. I do this when the end of year test throws up a much lower mark that's at odds with his homework and progress test scores. I've found I've had to do this because when I've asked the teachers, they've basically brushed off my concerns with platitudes and generalisations such as "it was a hard test" or "most did badly", so basically no help at all. When I actually see the paper, I can see exactly what has gone wrong, exactly where marks have been dropped, and so I can take steps to solve those problems.

Floggingmolly Wed 22-Jun-16 16:21:46

You sound an ideal candidate for home schooling, Badbadbunny

chamenager Wed 22-Jun-16 16:35:52

You sound an ideal candidate for home schooling, Badbadbunny
--- because badbadbunny shows interest in her child's schooling that goes beyond 'he is doing well'.

There doesn't seem to be any middle ground.

You can send your child to school, that means you should not show any interest in what they are doing apart from the meagre information that is the attainment scores you are informed of. At most you can ask general questions, and you should be happy with platitudes as answers. You must place absolute trust into the teachers. You must believe that there is no such thing as an imperfect teacher, or a teacher who perhaps is overworked and simply doesn't have time for certain things. You must trust that the teacher knows best, always, about everything, even about things that are only rudimentarily covered in teacher training.

Or you can choose to home educate.

At the same time, schools claim to value partnership with parents.

Is there truly no middle ground???

mrz Wed 22-Jun-16 18:33:29

The OP has been offered the chance to examine the test papers in school which seems like a reasonable compromise. Since the test results aren't reported anywhere and it is teacher assessment of work over the year which counts perhaps a copy of every piece of work would be more useful?

IoraRua Wed 22-Jun-16 18:45:05

This is standard in Ireland, where in my school parents are allowed to view test booklets but not bring home. As we use testing schemes that don't republish year on year (each level covers two school years, two versions of test booklets as part of one level, and children assessed based on class level), we do it to avoid teaching to the test by parents. To be honest it's rare for a parent to want to see a booklet.

I imagine school concern is to avoid parents trying to teach to the test (though sats are issued yearly, yes?) and concerns about parents misinterpreting papers.

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