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Cheating in KS2 SATs

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by captaincook21, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. I suspect that the school has cheated in the numeracy KS2 SAT.
    The class were quite poor at numeracy and didn't know the maths let alone apply it.

    By the end of March only about 45% of the class was working at L4 or above.

    The regular teacher had been off since February and resigned due to workplace bullying by the HT.

    The class had 3 different teachers, none of which were Y6 trained, to take them upto SATs. One of these supply teachers also left partly due to not being able to build a positive relationship with the children and partly because of the HT.
    In Y5 the children had been taught by a teacher who was deemed to be 'failing'.
    After the SATs were completed the HT looked through some of the maths papers and went white and said 'I don't think we will look through any more they are not very good'.
    When the papers were put in the safe one of the test bags was not sealed first.
    The numeracy results have been returned at the highest they have ever been (80+%) L4.
    The new Y6 supply teacher, a retired leader, is struggling to teach numeracy because the class do not know the basics.
    The HT was asked by the children whether thay could just have a look at the papers but this request was vehemently refused.
    The school is in a category and has had a myriad of different problems since the new, LA placed HT, started in Sept. Most of the teaching staff have resigned including 2 outstanding teachers.
    Does anyone know how this can be checked out?
  2. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    1. are you really surprised that schools may or may not 'cheat' in the SATs? - there is an argument that the SATs are themselves a cheat but let that rest for the moment
    what do you mean by checked out - beyond papers being sent to an external marker? for whom would you like to see this done?
    3. what is your motivation for this post? are you worried for the school? yourself? the soul of the head? the children? the parents? the clapped out and discredited SATs system? league table accuracy? or do you seek ammunition for a personal battle?
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Well you could report your suspicions to QCA (or whatever it is called this week/month/year). But what would be the point?

    If no malpractice was found, you would be out of a job (I'm assuming you work at the school, or would not be party to all this detail). The amount of detail you know does make me wonder what your role is at the school. Office staff would generally know about the sealing of bags, but teachers would not. However office staff would not know the levels children were working at nor why a current teacher is struggling to teach the class. (To be honest the thought of a retired teacher coming in to try and teach my year 6s at this time of the year when they's had about 4-5 different teachers already fills me with horror. And my class are generally lovely!)

    If the HT, who you are accusing, is a LA appointed one to take the school out of special measures then there is little hope of them being found guilty. Just because the children haven't seen the papers does not mean there is anything wrong. Many schools don't let children see the papers nor even know their marks, just levels.

    If malpractice was found, who would benefit? The HT would be out of a job. The school, already in a category, now has no HT and its name all over the papers for all the wrong reasons. Parents who care will be even less likely to send their children there, so the school goes further down. Would this really be a success?

    It reads that way to me.
  4. Well I have several reasons for this post.
    1. If the results have been tampered with then some children are likely to be placed in a higher set at Secondary and then moved down - How will this make them feel?
    2. Cheating to save own job, which the HT is not very good at, is awful anyway. If the HT was there for the children then they should be going all out to make sure the children have the education they deserve. This is not happening. If it sounds personal then yes it is because I hate to see people employed in education who care little for the children in their care.
    3. Lots of parents are starting to realise that their children are not getting the education they deserve when compared with other schools and are moving their children - which is right because things do not look like they are going to get any better.
    4. Its probably not worth reporting because I would not like to see the children disappointed now and if cheating has happened then the people involved have to live with that. Though it takes a certain kind of person to do that in the first place so they probably won't give it much thought in their tramp up the career ladder.
  5. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    I'm sorry captain but are you a bit new to this game we call education?
    what do you think happens every year? I've seen Level 3 children go to secondary with a level 5 occasioning panic calls about whether they had received the right child.
    All I can say is I know exactly what that looks and feels like, but there is not a lot you can do about it unless your LA or GB has already got a beef with your head. You may also find that other staff are involved as well as the head and think they are doing the head's bidding.
    which is not caused by results tampering, it's a side effect of poor management, cheating in SATs merely helps the school look better and attract more attention from parents an dless attention from the LA and OfSTED. None of it has anyhting to do with educating children.
    has anyone at the school told the children or families that there is no such thing as 'passing' SATs? done anything to dispel other misinformation about SATs? reveal their true worthlessness? told the parents and kids they have nothing to do with education, progress, achievement or learning? cheating over results is merely a tackier side of the same culture, I don't condone it but am mildly surprised that such a bankrupt system could engender any feelings of right or wrong.
    you can bet your sweet bippy on that (sorry for the turn of phrase, been waiting to use it for a while).

  6. Oh how naive can teachers get? At one of our neighbouring schools it was routine for teachers to surreptitiously point to the correct answer on test papers. And guess what - they had outstanding results. Simples.
  7. I knew a Y6 teacher who would open the papers like you were allowed to one hour before administering the tests, flick through and then return to class for a "revision" session for 10-15 minutes before the head would bring the sats papers around to the classroom. It's awful that there is so much pressure on pupils and teachers alike that makes this sort of action necessary and unfortunately, in my opinion, not that uncommon. Oh and that school also had outstanding results. ;-)
  8. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    Pressure in no way makes cheating necessary. Perhaps attractive, but not necessary.
  9. This statement is incorrect. If you wished to 'whistleblow' on this matter, however, you would likely need more than a suspicion of wrong-doing. The fact that the pupils have received high levels is not enough in itself. The kind of evidence you'd need would be concrete: did you see teachers turning a blind eye while weak pupils copied from more able pupils; did you see teachers 'correcting' papers etc.
    As a person who has whistleblown (and being highly successful in stopping illegality in my own school on a very serious issue) let me say that whistleblowing is never wrong when you are sure - or almost sure - that malpractice has occurred.
  10. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    However the chance of being able to successfully maintain one's position after having made false allegations is pretty low.

    Whistleblowing generally implies one has proof of wrong doing and is effectively reporting it. Making a largely unfounded complaint, with little evidence is not quite the same thing.
  11. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Try having some sympathy for the KS3/4 teachers at secondary level who will be whipped then and later at GCSE as predictions and GCSE levels are based on the pupil's primary SATS score. No matter how much one bleats about how little Johnnie or Sally couldn't possibly be level this or that the Primary school SATs result is held as sacrosanct and yet another secondary school teacher is "failing"! Thanks a bunch all those cheating in the primary sector.
  12. Yes, I agree. The 'evidence' does seem very flimsy; not sufficient grounds to instigate a disclosure.
  13. I detest cheating too. I know a pupil (now in Year 10) who attained a Level 5 in his English and Science KS2 SATs. How strange that after four years, he is still around the Level 5 mark....According to those SATs, he should be getting A* surely! It's a joke. It's one particular feeder primary school in our area that has these brilliant results!
  14. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    I can't believe that secondaries really base any judgements, plans
    or targets on SAT results - they've been receiving the effluent from
    this broken system for nearly 2 decades, gone through their own SATs
    mill and still treat them as if they mean anything?
    Well actually,
    what am I talking about, primaries still have the 'big dip' in their KS
    transition (from 1 to 2) with children hitting level 3 at the end of
    year 2 and then suddenly dropping like a stone in year 3, often staying
    there for a year or 2, unless teachers are hounded into 'uplevelling', which they routinely are and every year heads wander round for 'a word' to discuss targets with KS2 teachers and guess what they clutch to their bosom? those KS1 results which were a source of pride for the cohort's y2 teachers but have become a millstone around the necks of their successors.
    Blogged on these matters a while back: blog and again and again
  15. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Whilst I would concur that individuals would not usually engage in whistle-blowing unless they had evidence, I should just point out that the law, in fact, only holds that the whistle-blower has a 'reasonable belief' to be protected.
    Check out the provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act at www.pcaw.org.uk
  16. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    And then have sympathy for the University lecturers who inherit students who have been spoon-fed at secondary level to the degree that they have little ability for independent thought and who have had too much "assistance" with coursework in order to inflate grades. Thanks a bunch all those cheating in the secondary sector!
    Ant then have sympathy for the employers...and on and on.

  17. and at primary level, ther are those of us at junior school who have to have to livel with inflated ks1 stats from their infants' school
    and so it goes on...
  18. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    LOL There are those of us in primary schools who have to live with inflated grades from KS1 sats as well!
  19. The bottom line is "scrap all SATS!!" All agreed?
  20. yes

    but where does that get us? [​IMG]

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