Key Stage 1 tests scrapped


The government has cancelled its controversial new spelling and grammar Key Stage 1 test after it was accidentally put online in error by DfE officials.

The controversial test, also known as the SPAG, was being introduced this year for children in Year 2. Teaching unions had criticised the move saying it introduced a technical approach to language for children too early.

Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, acted quickly to cancel the Sats tests for seven-year-olds. He said: "I have decided that we will remove the requirement on schools to administer the KS1 grammar, punctuation and spelling test for this year only.

Schools will still need to submit a teacher assessment judgement based on pupils’ work in the classroom as has always been the case. However there will be no requirement this year for them to administer the KS1 grammar, punctuation and spelling test or use the result as part of that assessment. Our immediate inquiry has shown none of the other KS1 test papers have been affected by this error.

“This is a clearly regrettable incident and I am sorry for any concern it has caused teachers, parents or pupils.”

Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Standards and Testing Agency (STA), said the human error was made by a member of staff within the agency and a failure to follow appropriate clearance processes.

She said: "Sample guidance material published by the STA, to be used with the modified version of the Key Stage 1 spelling test, contained the live test words rather than the sample test words.

"As soon as we were made aware, we removed the document from the website."

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