Teachers raise concerns over Sats marking

Main college academics in England have taken to social media to vent their anger about what they declare are inconsistencies within the marking of this yr’s nationwide curriculum check (Sats).

Utilizing the hashtag #SATsshambles on Twitter, academics have listed a spread points and are calling on all colleges to undergo their pupils’ marked papers to test for errors.

The Division for Training stated outcomes of the exams have been “sturdy and correct” however head academics may apply for a evaluation of contested marks.

In response to the academics tweeting, 10- and 11-year-olds have been requested to place punctuation in a pre-written sentence and – despite the fact that they received the best reply – didn’t get a mark as a result of their commas weren’t curved the best means or their semi-colon was too massive or not in exactly the best place.

In addition they complained about marking steering which they claimed solely markers, not academics, had entry to.

Main head trainer Cathryn Throup tweeted among the issued steering which gave particulars of the “origin, top, depth and orientation” of semi-colons – or the place pupils’ ought to write their solutions.

Particularly it stated:

  • Neither factor of the semi-colon ought to begin greater than the letter ‘l’
  • The dot of the semi-colon should not be decrease than the underside of the letter ‘w’ within the phrase ‘tomorrow’
  • The orientation of the comma factor of the semi-colon have to be inclined to the left or straight down. It can not incline to the best.

Main trainer Liz Hindley, who tweets as @Leaping_liz, put up footage of 4 solutions all that includes the semi-colon within the appropriate place, however two got a mark and two weren’t.

“The shortage of consistency is so irritating,” she stated.

Different academics raised comparable points, akin to pupils’ solutions straying outdoors of the field.

Brian Walton, head trainer of Brookside Academy in Somerset, advised the BBC that colleges had not been advised that markers would mark pupils down for misshapen semi-colons and solutions straying outdoors of a field.

“The markers had steering that not one of the academics, not one of the colleges knew about, so a whole lot of this steering concerning the dimension and the form and the orientation and how we kind letters – we did not know that,” he advised the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.

“Bear in mind, they [pupils] are placing written semi-colons in textual content kind with no gaps between the writing on the identical time – we’re actually getting pernickety once we’re attending to that degree.”

Mr Walton stated he did know the dimensions of the issue, however had already had 50 or 60 heads in his space contact him with considerations.

Author and poet Michael Rosen tweeted: “The punctuation police demand that the mark must be drawn accurately and on the proper angle.”

‘Sturdy and correct’

In a press release, Pearson, the corporate which administered the Sats, stated: “Marking high quality is extraordinarily vital and is one thing we monitor repeatedly.

“Within the uncommon circumstance that there’s an error, there’s a evaluation course of in place which ensures a good and clear system and allows Pearson to appropriate any discrepancies and guarantee pupils obtain a good mark.”

A spokesman for the DfE stated there have been “numerous measures in place to make sure that colleges’ Key Stage 2 writing trainer evaluation judgements are sturdy and correct”.

“The Requirements and Testing Company takes any points with the accuracy of faculties’ trainer evaluation judgments very severely.

“Any considerations about explicit colleges needs to be reported to the STA in order that they might be correctly investigated.”

However trainer unions criticised the marking for being inconsistent, saying pupils have been being marked down on a technicality when it was clear they knew the proper reply to the query.

Russell Interest, basic secretary of faculty leaders’ union NAHT, stated: “We now function inside a testing tradition which seems centered on catching younger youngsters out quite than recording their achievements.

“Such a tradition will swiftly erode the boldness of oldsters and academics that the system is working in the most effective pursuits of pupils.

“The stakes are so excessive that we appear unable to use cheap frequent sense.”

Kevin Courtney, basic secretary of the Nationwide Union of Academics, stated: “”We already know that moderation is inconsistent and open to gaming.

“Now, academics are discovering out that marking is unreliable too.

“The system doesn’t deserve anybody’s belief, and it shouldn’t be the premise on which colleges are held to account.”

Final week, official figures confirmed two-fifths (39%) of primary school pupils in England had failed to meet the expected standard in studying, writing and arithmetic.

Nevertheless, this summer time’s outcomes have been an enchancment on the success fee final yr (53%), which was the primary yr of latest, extra rigorous exams.

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Printed at Tue, 11 Jul 2017 10:29:08 +0000