What is the new system for primary school test results?
In 2014 the Department for Education (DfE) announced changes to the National Curriculum.
As part of the changes, the ‘levels’ system previously used to report on children’s attainment was removed. From 2016, SATs results were reported using scaled scores.
What is a scaled score?
Each child is given a scaled score as a number. This is based on his/her raw score – the number of marks he/she receives in a test. Children may achieve a score of:
- Below 100, meaning they have not achieved the ‘expected standard’
- 100, meaning that they have reached the ‘expected standard’
- Above 100, meaning that they have exceeded the ‘expected standard’
For children in year 2 taking the Key Stage (KS) 1 tests, scores range from 85 to 115. In year 6 (KS2) they range from 80 to 120. A child who reaches the expected standard (100 or above) is considered to be ready for the next stage of his or her education.
Why use scaled scores?
Scaled scores help test results to be reported consistently from one year to the next.
For example, if two children achieve the same scaled scores in different tests in different years, they will have the same level of attainment.
How will results be reported in year 2?
Most children in year 2 will have taken tests in maths and reading. Teachers will convert children’s raw scores into scaled scores to see if they have met the national standard. They will combine this information with what they already know from teaching your child. You will find out whether your child has met the standard of the test, but the scores won’t be published. If you would like to see your child’s score, please contact the school.
How will results be reported in year 6?
Most children in year 6 will have taken tests in maths, reading, and grammar, punctuation and spelling. Your child’s end-of-year report will include their scaled score and clear confirmation as to whether they have met the national standard. Some schools also took ‘sample’ science tests. However, these results will not be reported.
Should I be worried if my child does not meet the expected standard?
There is no reason to worry. The tests are designed to help identify where children may need extra support as early as possible.
Your child will also receive teacher assessment results which help to give a broader picture of how well they are doing. If you have any concerns, please speak to your child’s teacher.
Is it true that the tests have been more difficult since the curriculum changes?
Yes, it is true that these tests have been more challenging than the tests based on the previous curriculum, and that the new expected standard is higher. This means that, across the country, fewer children have met the expected standard in the past 2 years than previously.
Can we compare the results with previous years?
This is the second year of the new SATs tests, and the second time results will be reported using scaled scores. The results will therefore be comparable with last year’s tests, but will look very different from years prior to that.