KS2 test results should be handled with care

05 July 2016

The Department for Education is today due to publish provisional information on 2016 Key Stage 2 national curriculum assessment results.

Speaking ahead of their publication, Julie McCulloch, Primary and Governance Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “It is essential to understand that the standard pupils are expected to achieve in these tests has been raised significantly from previous years. It is therefore meaningless to compare this year’s headline results with those from previous years, and these statistics must be handled with extreme caution in terms of trying to reach any judgements.

“Furthermore, the introduction of these tests by the Department for Education has been rushed and chaotic. The children tested this year have only been studying the new curriculum for two years when it is a programme designed to be studied over four years. To add to the pressure, the department has drip-fed changes and updates to the procedures for teachers assessing writing, making it extremely difficult to keep up to date with exactly what is required.

“Ofsted and the Regional Schools Commissioners need to be mindful of these issues when using this data and should ensure it is set in the wider context of a school’s performance.

“Primary school leaders, teachers, parents and children have had to cope with an unprecedented amount of change. Schools have worked extremely hard to meet the demands of the new curriculum and ensure children were as prepared as they could be for these tests. They deserve great credit for the way in which they have dealt with these challenges.”