Children’s SATs results will be delayed to give civil servants more time to mark them – because the test dates have moved due to the bank holiday for King Charles’ Coronation.
Headteachers have said the decision is “disappointing” and have raised concerns over how it will impact schools’ workload. They added that it was “discourteous” to announce the scheduling changes so late.
The results of the primary school tests will now be a week later than planned, with schools receiving results on July 11, the Standards and Testing Agency announced.
The agency admitted that the changes may impact schools more “where summer holidays commence earlier in July, or where schools have events booked in the week results will now be returned”.
The test dates shifted by a day each because of the extra bank holiday for the Coronation on May 8.
The agency has also moved the subsequent date for school marking reviews back to July 21, meaning that some schools may need to continue the work into the summer holidays.
School leaders have said this will have a particularly negative effect on those schools which break up earlier for the summer holidays.
‘Negative impact on schools’
Sarah Hannafin, senior policy adviser at school leaders’ union NAHT, said the delay was “incredibly disappointing and was completely avoidable”.
“It is difficult to accept that a one day delay to the tests leads to a weeks delay to results, particularly with the expectations put on school leaders to fulfil their obligations and specific deadlines regarding SATs.
“This decision will have a negative impact on schools, particularly those which break up for the summer holidays the week that results will now be returned.”
Tiffnie Harris, primary specialist at the ASCL school leaders’ union, said the “unfathomable decision will cause more workload and disruption for schools when they are already under intense pressure on multiple fronts”.
She added that it was “discourteous that it has taken so long for this latest announcement to be made”.
The STA said it had done “everything possible to limit the extent of this delay and appreciate a later date for the return of results has a significant impact on schools”.
“We understand this impact may be greater where summer holidays commence earlier in July, or where schools have events booked in the week results will now be returned. We regret the inconvenience this change will cause schools. We expect to return to the usual timings in 2024.”TIOB News