Sats Results Own Goal Averted As DfE Moves The Goalposts

The recent key stage two tests in England are producing mixed results. Some are elated but others are disappointed with the outcomes of the newly-introduced exams for reading, writing and maths, as they proved to be much harder when compared to previous versions. The raw numbers imply that only 53% of this year’s pupils reached the satisfactory standard, as opposed to last year’s number of 80%. The previous results would have spelled disaster for schools in the past, but the new system that measures children’s progress has saved most of them. It is an improvement that observes the progress children make from different starting points and is fairer and more accurate.

Teachers have however, not had it easy, they had to conform to new regulations and many worked hard to follow suit. With the help from their ‘Santa’, the Department for Education, around 500 mainly small schools have been saved from failing floor standards. Despite a massive increase in exam difficulty and the new curriculum introduced two years ago, fewer schools have been deemed as below the government’s floor standards as compared to 2014.

Although these statistics look positive, the new exams puts disadvantaged children at a disadvantage. Only 35% of children at schools that offer free meals to those in need or come from disadvantaged backgrounds were able to reach the expected standards set out. This is in stark contrast to their more privileged counterparts who scored 57%, hence a significant gap between the two cohorts of students. These exams have brought to light the limitations of some pupils and the work required to continue their education. Credit must be given to the schools, teachers, and students who have performed miracles amid the challenging times this year.


  • paulwallace

    Paul Wallace is a 44-year-old anthropology professor and blogger. He has been writing about anthropology and other topics for over a decade. He has also taught anthropology at the college level for over a decade.

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