DfE insists KS2 resits won’t be delayed

The government still expects to publish sample materials in December for key stage 2 SATs resits for year 7s, but will not start consulting schools until September at the earliest.

From 2017, pupils will resit English and maths tests in their first term of secondary school if they fail to reach an “expected standard” in year 6, a manifesto commitment made by Nicky Morgan (pictured), the education secretary, before last year’s election.

But the unannounced removal of guidance from the Department for Education’s website prompted questions about the future of the policy. It had been displayed on “useful timelines” published on the website until as recently as January.

Mel Muldowney, a blogger for JustMaths – which revealed the information’s disappearance – and a teacher at Alcester academy, Warwickshire, said the government needed to say when consultation would begin.

She is concerned that if it does not begin early enough, publication of the resit materials will be put back.

“Some of their consultations take months to get to the point of publishing outcomes,” she said. “This particular idea has massive implications for teachers in terms of planning and, of course, the poor students who will get subjected to more testing under the premise that they have failed.”

She was concerned about the “unprofessional”, “unsettling and very unfair” way the guidance had been removed from the government’s website without any notification.

“It’s the one place that should be up to date and the source of information and updates for the profession.”

At a Westminster Education Forum on Monday, Vanessa Pittard, the Department for Education’s assistant director for curriculum and standards, said the tests would be piloted this year after the consultation was completed.

Keith Denchfield, from the Dartford-based Leigh Academies Trust, questioned “the possibility of a test perhaps by Christmas” given that consultation would not happen until September.

Pittard reassured him that the full test would not be introduced until 2017.

When Schools Week asked the department about the disappearing guidance, it initially claimed nothing on the resits had been removed from its website.

It then declined to comment when Schools Week gave evidence of its removal, including webpages archived by the Institute of Education. A spokesperson said the government “always endeavours to give schools ample time to prepare for any new tests and our intention remains to publish sample papers in December this year.

“We are determined to ensure children are mastering the basics of numeracy and literacy and our proposals for resits of key stage 2 tests in year 7 are part of this.”

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


    • Mollie Weston

      Absolutely. Secondary teachers are quite capable of carrying out their own assessment and gap analysis to inform planning for all year 7 pupils whether they ‘passed’ or ‘failed’ their year 6 SATS.

      A boycott is what we need. Parents need to understand how unecessary these resits are.

  1. Karen

    Move Y6 SATS to start of Year 7 for a true test of what they’ve learnt in Primary School.

    That way you avoid all that hot housing/cramming for tests that leads to Summer slide and the secondaries testing them again when they arrive because they ( ( quite rightly) don’t believe the data. Would also stop all that ‘ we do the fun stuff after SATS’ nonsense which adds to the slippage . I wonder how many booster groups are still going now? Not many – is it because those children now know it all? I doubt it- more likely it now won’t affect the data! Schools could still report to primaries but it would give a far more realistic picture .

    • Jly 72

      The same should therefore happen at the beginning of ks2 as most separate junior schools find the same problem, children assessed as higher than they are to boost Ks1 results.