Government investigated 524 cases of SAT maladministration in 2016

Investigations into maladministration of key stage 1 test leaped by more than 50 per cent last year, while 65 sets of KS2 exam results were either annulled or amended.

In its latest report into maladministration in the 2016 primary SATs exams, the Standards and Testing Agency reported and investigated 524 cases in total.

The term “maladministration” refers to any act that could jeopardise the “integrity, security or confidentiality” of the tests and lead to results that “do not reflect the unaided abilities and achievements of pupils”.

This includes incorrectly opening test papers, cheating pupils, or test administrators offering too much help to children. It can also refer to changes made to test scripts by someone other than the pupil, or the inflation or deflation of teacher assessment judgements.

In 2016, the number of investigated maladministration cases rose to 94, up from 60 in 2015. There was a slight decrease in the number of cases investigated at KS2, from 456 to 430 (a six-per-cent drop).

Fewer results were amended or annulled at either stages: three fell to two at KS1 and 78 to 65 at KS2. It is not possible to say how many schools are affected, as one school can have multiple exams annulled or amended.

Half of the 524 cases investigated in 2016 were based on schools reporting themselves to the STA. In 18 per cent of cases, the council reported the problem, and 14 per cent were reported anonymously. This balance is similar to that seen in previous years.