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Advice needed: SATs cheating

Discussion in 'Primary' started by ClaraB, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. I need some advice. I started teaching in Year 6 this year. Historically my school has been plagued with rumours that the senior management team, when acting as readers in finals SATs, blatantly point out incorrect answers or tell children how to work out maths problems. They don't go as far as telling the children the answers, but it is not far off.

    This week we've been doing optional SATs and I have observed all of these things happening. It makes me sick to my stomach. I've seen the deputy head explain which operation should be used when solving maths problems and telling children when they've got questions right or wrong, and the assistant head pointing out the correct answer in reading tests. My less able maths children did their SAT in a room with our headteacher, and happily reported the help he gave, rephrasing questions and explaining methods. I know this is only the optional SATs but it does appear to confirm all the rumours I've heard in the past.

    These practices go against everything I believe in. I am stressed to bits about this. I want to speak to the head about it, but it is an incredibly prickly situation and our head is not the most approachable of people, and can be a bit of a bully.

    What should I do?
     
  2. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I don't agree with being limited to 70mph on motorways, does that mean it's fine for me to speed?
    I don't really agree with SATs either, however at the end of the day it's a week of the school year, if the teachers are really against it then ignore them up to that point, do the tests, forget about them. If they've been teaching well then the kids should do fine anyway, surely? Cheating sends all sorts of bad messages to the kids IMO, and at the end of the day they have to do exams in secondary school and if they think it's fine to cheat at primary school, why should it be any different for GCSEs or A levels?

     
  3. NObody does just seventy miles an hour on anymotorway - and in recognition of that the law has just been changed.
     
  4. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    You can jog on there! There is no chance that happens in my classroom.

    Also, how could they be given the title of a story the day before?

    Don't get me started on the poor quality of education my Y6 leavers see when they join Secondary school. They spend the whole year doing things we did at the start of Y6. They become bored out of their minds and are rarely pushed.
     
  5. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Yohana, in what way do you think a child's KS2 results affect their future in a way that falsifying them would rectify? At the most they are used as gospel by some (the less astute?) secondary schools for setting in Year 7.
     
  6. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Yes, the government reguarly just changes laws just because most people don't like them or don't stick to them. Most people don't like paying tax either, perhaps next week they'll just scrap tax? And lots of young people seem to be carrying knives, lets just legalise that too. Also, I don't think the law has actually be changed yet, in fact I don't think it's even been decided on, so get your facts straight.
    I call troll on yohanalicante. S/he is just on this thread and the one about homework (and probably others) arguing for the sake of arguing.
     
  7. missbloggs

    missbloggs New commenter

    OP - Might you not be jumping to conclusions? The tests you have seen are just practise - and the only way children improve is by showing them what they have done wrong and how to do it better / correctly. Surely that is what you have seen? It seems like you are about to put yourself in a very difficult situation over what may at this point just be hearsay and people exaggerating. Everyone likes a bit of gossip, and if that's what you have heard and then with what you have seen you may be about to leap to a conclusion that 2 and 2 makes 5. You will have to continue working with these people and if you start throwing accusations around that turn out to be unfounded you will be in a very awkward situation. You may well be better off biding your time until the actual tests - that's when what you have seen would be definitely very wrong - and if you do see it then would be the time to take action.
    You may disagree, but I would just advise caution and careful thought.
     
  8. bbc news
    The government plans to raise the speed limit to 80mph from 70mph in a victory for the transport secretary, Philip Hammond.
    Hammond said on Thursday he will launch a consultation later this year with a view to introducing the new limit in 2013.

    quire right modgepodge.... thought it was the law. Sorry, I staand corrected. Sorry also you think I am a troll - what is that a bit of a tart ? Not arguing for the sake of it though. Just my sceptism keeping fit. Out here jogging with all you seriously fit guys. Only way to fight the teaching flab that seems to accumulate easily after years.
     
  9. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I would imagine that the point of optional SATs is as practice for the real thing, and therefore it would be beneficial to the kids to keep it as similar to the real thing as possible. OP seems to suggest teachers are pointing out correct answers and giving correct operations DURING the test. When my Y6s did practice SATs, they did the papers in the morning - and went through the answers in the afternoon. Of course it is beneficial to show kids what they've done wrong, but not during the exam!
    Obviously no "law" has been broken yet (that OP has observed), and I'd agree OP needs to proceed with caution here. Might just be worth asking the head or someone "I noticed X was happening n the optional SATs exams. Presumabely this doesn't happen in the real thing?" giving them the benefit of the doubt? Difficult situation thought.
     
  10. Our Y6 teacher didn't come back in September and neither did our Y6 SATs results.

    Go figure.
     
  11. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    A troll is someone who lurks on internet forum arguing for the sake of arguing. I said it cos I just read 2 posts where you seemed to be posting deliberately controversial opinions!
     
  12. Blimey - I've been under a rock if this is commonplace in Y6 SATs! Definitely doesn't happen at my school, and we'd all be horrified if it did! Don't these kids mention the 'help' to the parents? Doesn't word 'get around'?
     
  13. This kind of abuse is is rife. You could make a complaint to the relevant authorities. They may decide to do a spot check. In an old school of mine the Head posted a member of staff on the front door with a mobile phone to alert her of a spot check so that "readers" could quickly make their exit...
     
  14. I do take on board the suggestions to wait and see in the 'real' tests. However, everything I have seen so far does corroborate stories I have heard in the past. Stories I have heard first hand from some of the teachers and teaching assistants who were in the test. I find it very suspicious that a handful of less able kids are doing the tests away from the rest, with only the senior leadership team present. These would be the kids who would struggle to get a Level 4.

    One piece of advice offered from a retired headteacher friend was to ask if the school has a policy on helpers in tests, or at least some written guidelines. I may try that.
     
  15. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    To be fair,at my school the lowest ability Year 6s were removed and sat their tests elsewhere, ususally with TAs to read for them. This is allowed, except in the reading test. Any child can put their hand up and ask for an adult to read the question to them out loud, but that's all the adult can do, they can't rephrase it and obviously cannot offer help. The lowest ability chn in my class basically needed all the questions read out so were removed so as not to disturb other children.
     

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