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Will my (SEND) child count in the SAT's? Or is disapplied a permanent status?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by pebble333, May 9, 2017.

  1. pebble333

    pebble333 New commenter

    Hello all, I've been trying to get to the bottom of what is turning out to be a difficult topic to get much information on.
    Any help or advice will be very much appreciated.

    On Friday morning, I received an email from the school following a request for information about the arrangements for the forthcoming SAT's. Here is an extract.

    I think she would want to feel involved in the SATs as she has wanted to be part of the revision group for the last 3 weeks. As discussed, she has been disapplied so no pressure is on (child's name) to complete the tests, however I think she would want to feel part of it. When she is doing the tests she will have her 1:1 and can leave at anytime…

    This was the very first I had heard of this, and was shocked. Our daughter has worked really hard for years to follow the curriculum and we had geared her up to doing them. The idea that she wouldn't sit the tests had never been broached, and for us, it had never occurred to us this might happen.

    I contacted the school immediately and was called in to discuss the matter by the head. I was told it could be reversed against their judgement and I stated that this was the outcome we wanted.

    I was then sent evidence (I didn't request this) that she had been submitted - by way of a register indicating a tick (no code) against our child's name.

    So, in theory, all's well that ends well… Child has studied for the test, child has been supported in a classroom with additional time and support available subject to usual rules, child has sat the test, and child has been entered.

    I don't want to sound paranoid here, (although even I can see this is a possibility!) …but is it really possible that this can happen, that a child be disapplied on the Friday (although the paperwork around this would have happened months ago; unbeknown to us) and yet, sitting the test like everyone else on the Monday?
  2. sallylou

    sallylou New commenter

    The guidance we were given was that if a child is not working within the curriculum of their year group they should be disapplied. They will still count towards the % but if they are unable to access the assessment they should not sit it. They will still get a teacher assessment to show their progress.
    I understand your frustration but the tests are sooooo hard and it really isn't anything to be paranoid about. I only disapplied one of my children last wk- but that was KS1.
  3. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I believe children had to to be disapplied a few weeks back, but I could be wrong. I don't know if/when the decision can be reversed. Certainly, the decision should have been made a while back; a child should only be disapplied if they cannot access the test at all,i.e. They will get close to 0 correct. I disapplied a couple of kids from the reading paper this year; they had a reading age below 7 years and would not have been able to read the text independently, let alone answer the questions. Being this far below age related expectations is not a last minute thing, so the school should have been able to decide if your daughter could do the test a long time ago, and if she was not going to take the test they really should have communicated this to you before Friday. I am surprised that you would want your daughter to take a test which she cannot do any of though? Unless she is extremely resliliant, facing up to an hour of attempting something and getting close to 0% would be extremely demotivating and potentially upsetting for most adults, let alone an 11 year old.

    Either way, in terms of your child 'counting', her results will be counted in the schools percentages regardless of whether she sat the tests or not. So if there were 10 in the cohort, and she took the test but did not make the expected standard (which sounds very likely) and neither did 1 other child, it would be reported as 80% of the cohort met the standard. If she did not take the test, everyone else did, and one other child did not meet the standard, it would still be reported as 80% met the standard. Disapplying a child benefits the child in that they don't have to suffer the horror of doing a test; it does not benefit the school in any way in terms of data.
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  4. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I don't think this is quite true - I have children who are working within the y4/5 curriculum who still took the tests. This is from the STA website:

    It is important to note that because the standard of the easiest questions remains the same as on previous tests, we are not expecting any significant increase in the number of pupils not sitting the tests. If pupils are able to answer the easiest questions, they should be entered for the test.

    They really do have to be significantly below ARE before you disapply, not just below the y6 (or y2 I guess) curriculum.
  5. rek45

    rek45 New commenter

    I believe - at the very least - it is good practice to at least inform the parents before this decision is taken.
    One more point to raise is, if a child is disapplied, I am pretty sure they cannot do the actual test paper for that year. It definitely used to be that if a child attempted a paper, that paper had to be sent off to be marked (I would need to check if this is still the case).

    If we disapply a child, we meet with the parents well in advance (letting them know early if this will even be a likelihood). If the child wants to do the test, but can not access it at all, we give them a different test, more in line with their level with all year group/age group information removed.

    I agree with what one poster has said though: this benefits the school in no way, as all children count towards data so it will have been done with your child's best interests at heart. It seems like communication is the biggest problem here. It would have come as a shock to me if I had found out about my own child in this way.
  6. pebble333

    pebble333 New commenter

    Thank you, each and everyone of you for your replies. It's the middle of the night, and I can't sleep. I don't want to add too much detail about the exact circumstances, other than to declare that my child is 'good to go' and ready to do their best! I am genuinely not the kind of parent that would put their kid through SATS unkindly or without reason. I believe to disallow would be an act of discrimination. Please trust me on this...
    I still need answers though. The 'disapply' was sought without our knowledge, and was dropped into an email last Friday. Does this then mean therefore that no special arrangements were requested, (as a child that has been disallowed won't need them) therefore it is not possible to sit the test with support, or am I wrong? ....Please I need to know - can you go from Disapplied - to taking the test with appropriate breaks/TA support? Is this technically possible?
  7. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    Well, obviously, if she is doing the test, it will be under test conditions.

    Why do you want her to do it? it is totally meaningless.
  8. cassandramark2

    cassandramark2 Lead commenter

    If a pupil has TA support as part of ongoing practice, then they are permitted to have this during the tests, in terms of having a reader (though obviously not having questions read to them during the reading paper). Schools must have evidence of this provision being given on a day-to-day basis, should they receive a monitoring visit. Likewise, pupils may have breaks (but not additional time, if this has not been applied for and granted in advance).
    However, I agree with all that has been stated above. There seems to have been a serious failure in communication between all parties involved.
  9. pebble333

    pebble333 New commenter

    I dont want to tell you why it matters right now... I need the focus of the question to remain.

    Please understand though that I share the hatred of SATS tests.

    It is the system - and process of registration and administration that I need to resolve here.

    Can a child be registered as Disapplied (on the Friday before SATS starts, although on the system months previous to this) and sit the SATS tests commencing on the following Monday, with all necessary support approved?

    Thank you all for your replies and patience with me. I am so grateful to you all for trying to help.

    Be strong for all the kids today, it's going to be a long one...
  10. GO36

    GO36 New commenter

    Registration guidance is available on the ARA KS2 2017. All pupils are registered. If you know a child is working significantly below the level of the SATS you mark them as B. during SATS week schools fill in a paper register - and apply the codes again and supply the paper. Registration can be altered.

    In terms of application for extra time etc if a child has a EHCP no application has to be made for extra time. Readers can be used to help children access the maths and EGAPS tests if it is part of usual support for the child as said previously. The deadline for extra time has passed and so if your child does not have an EHCP they would not be able to access extra time if it was not applied for. Reading support in the non reading tests is a different matter. If a child has a reader they cannot have extra time in the non reading tests.

    All our pupils will access the tests this week even the few who we think will not pass but will be working towards because I know they will be able to access it and feel positive. This was not the case last year particularly for the reading. One child was in the room and worked on a different paper without realising it. One was off in school engaging in more constructive learning. We spoke to parents through the year and decided what would be best for the 2 pupils. This was not discriminatory - The reading test is brutal for any child with additional learning needs and the support you can offer within the reading test is very limited. Extra time is not a lot of use if the child can't access the test - they just spend longer being unable to access it. We felt one child would be upset if they perceived they were not included and it was important for us to avoid this upset but I would have added to it by making them sit the real test. In terms of data, it didn't make a difference to overall percentages as the children would not have reached expected standard despite coming a very long way and doing really well.

    The email quote from your child's school seems to imply they believed this had been discussed. They also responded to you straight away. They had also made provision for your child to be included within the test and to feel part of it. If you were not aware however that your child was working well Below the standards of the test and they didn't think she could access them and had not discussed this with you then this is unacceptable. However their is no benefit to the school or its results from recording your child as a B. Hope this helps.
    Pomz likes this.
  11. GO36

    GO36 New commenter

    Sorry to post again - I think the best way for you to resolve this is to back to the school. The governing panel should have an Send governor and perhaps they will be able to work with you and give you the clarity you need in this matter. Also, in regards to secondary school and ongoing testing - ask them for clarity from the beginning and get them to have the conversations with you about testing etc from the start. I know this isn't your responsibility but it may save ongoing heartache.
  12. pebble333

    pebble333 New commenter

    Thank you GO36, that's helpful, but still a couple of questions…

    What if an error was made and entered as a (D)? Not able to access the curriculum, rather than a code B? You say registration can be altered, but can this be amended to a B on the day of commencement of the tests? I've examined the guidance, but can't find this.

    You rightly point out that the school responded quickly and I am very grateful to them for all they have done, as we are now coming towards the end of the school time and it has been a long run. I do not want to make trouble for anyone, I just don't want any more surprises here that I am not ready for. We were not aware of our child being registered as not able to access the curriculum or the test. I would swear this on oath. I am not misguided about this, or our child's ability… they most certainly have been accessing the curriculum and whilst they are not rocking the top grades they are doing just great.

    You say there is no benefit in recording our child as a B. What about a D?
    The matter wasn't brought to the attention of the governors by the head as it wasn't thought to be contentious. (Well, not until Friday, which was the first we heard of it). I am afraid to approach them. I just want to know if what I am told is happening, is actually able to happen. Can I walk away from all of this, and feel safe in the knowledge that our child will be counted, and have their papers marked …just like the others?

    Thank you again for helping. I am really truly grateful for anyone able to take time out during what I know is a very stressful and busy week.
  13. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    If a child is working well below the curriculum expectations, they should not be sitting the papers. In that respect, it makes no difference which code is applied. The 'D' code is only used in very exceptional circumstances anyway.
    GO36 likes this.
  14. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    There is no 'benefit' to a school in applying any grade.

    Any Y6 pupils on-roll at the time of SATs, who either fail to pass or don't sit the papers, have a negative impact on the school's data. No codes can change this.

    (Unless the pupil has only arrived in the UK within the last 2 years, from a non-English speaking country...)
  15. GO36

    GO36 New commenter

    This is what I was led to believe. I'm not sure why a school would use a D for a child working below. That's a bit weird to me. Pebbles if you were not aware that your child was working below or unable to access a lot of the curriculum I wonder how they would justify a D? The guidance is quite specific.

    The guidance in the ARA is clear that if you have entered a child as a B and then give them the test even in error, it has to be sent to be marked. If your daughter has sat the tests, then they would need to be sent off and marked regardless of any code.

    If your child has sat the test and its marked she will get results in the form of a scaled score. This has to be reported to you. If she hasn't sat the test you would get a code to say she is working below the level of the tests. If the school has gone to the trouble of showing you a 'tick' for the register it's probably a good sign that she has been entered because they will also have to legally provide the results.

    School data reports a thousand things in a thousand ways!! I think if a pupil is D or b or U or any of the others they may not be reported in some progress measures perhaps the scaled score, but not in overall headline data. It would not really make a difference for one pupil.

    Could you ask the question in an email or maybe just ask if results will be included in reports? That's not confrontational and may give you a bit of closure.
  16. pebble333

    pebble333 New commenter

    I'm sincerely hoping that this is the case, and that this applies if you entered code B ..or code D. As it stands, there is just the one paper left to go and I can say reports from school suggest that all is going very well... the effects of this debacle have left me feeling incredibly isolated however and I remain to this day utterly confused as to how this has ever happened in the first place.
    I will let you know the final outcome as although I have no point to prove (it was never about points...) I would like you to know that I was not wrong; not in denial about my child's ability to do this, and right to ask that they have fair access to the test.
    It has taken courage for me to post on here, and I would like to say a massive thank you to all who read, commented, took time to help with the guidance... and a massive thanks to all those supporting our children with SEND to ensure they continue to receive access to education & although I never in a million years thought I would write this, ..SATS tests. Many thanks.
    GO36 likes this.
  17. GO36

    GO36 New commenter

    I'm glad it has gone well for your daughter this week.
  18. pebble333

    pebble333 New commenter

    Oh dear, now I'm worried that this looks like I'm trying to claim 'bragging rights'… this post isn't about whether it's gone well, or the mark was achieved. I have tried to be cautious in the information given here in a bid to try to adhere to the question of 'Will My SEND child count in the SAT's? Or is 'disapplied' a permanent status'.

    It is a serious question relating to process and administration. I had thought it was factually important to the thread to let readers know that in terms of the process, it had occurred, and there was no distress and no (reported) problems in the sitting of the test.

    In terms of the administration, I still wonder if I may have posed the million dollar question this week…

    Can a child really go from being disapplied on the Friday before commencement to sitting them on the Monday, and having their paper marked and counted - I know I keep banging on about this, and I'm boring myself to tears here. o_O But IF the system works - there will indeed be a mark, and I guess you would all have a better idea than me of what you expect that to be (only got 6 in mock maths, out of 46 or 36 I can't remember what was said to try and convince us on Friday).
    But I don't care. I absolutely don't care. I don't care if it's an overall 4 points, or 2 points…we are still moving up from nil points. It doesn't matter (what the number is). They can measure what they like in the SAT's test, but it will never measure what my particular child is good at.

    It is the taking part, the inclusivity that matters and is at stake …and our kid was totally up for it. This isn't about me or about 'what my kid got'. Its about the process, the rights of SEND children and the rights of their parents to be informed when 'disapplied' is sought. Will my kid count?
  19. rachsecret

    rachsecret New commenter

    I would only display a child if they would suffer emotionally/socially from the experience. In 11 yrs of being a HT and 12 yrs of being a Y6 teacher teacher I usually find the children want to sit the test as they don't want to be seen by their peers as any different. I know this was also the case for my statemented son.

    One of the key things to bear in mind with the new system is that to disapply a child, you pay the consequences with your value added......Last year we had a child who was disabled due to SEND/EBD issues in liaison with their parents and whom had got a L1 at KS1. We got a massive negative points value added score for him as he should have got a scaled score of 90 to have made expected progress.

    This year we have used the doc below to target each child, especially looking at what the SEND pupils need to achieve.

    If you want to find out more about this here is the link: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploa...ol_accountability_in_2016_technical_guide.pdf
    GO36 likes this.
  20. pebble333

    pebble333 New commenter

    Thanks Rachsecret, I'm feeling a bit out of my depth here - but I think this phenomena was described as The Loophole of Despair (James Pembroke: TES) whereby in 2016 it was better for schools if SEND children attempted the SATs papers in 2016, but scored no points than if they had not sat them and been disapplied (which is what you did and why you were penalised last year but would not have been this year). The rules have changed to accommodate the closure of this loophole (2017). Forgive me if I am wrong on this account, but this is what I understand...
    rachsecret likes this.

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