Major ‘forensic investigation’ aims to expose Sats cheating

The TES is reporting that the government has begun a major, proactive investigation into cheating by schools in national tests.

Key stage 2 Sats papers from 400 primaries have been called in by the Standards and Testing Agency (STA), part of the Department for Education.

Officials are conducting a “detailed review” of the completed test scripts from May this year to determine whether they contain “answers which were not from a pupil’s own independent work”.

News of the investigation, which emerged through a TES Freedom of Information request, comes as concerns persist about significant numbers of schools cheating in the high-stakes tests – where poor results can cost teachers their jobs…

But headteachers say the investigation shows that “ministers really don’t trust teachers” and argue that rates of cheating in schools are low.

See more in the 6th November edition of TES or in the digital edition (which is free for one week only)

More at: Major ‘forensic investigation’ aims to expose Sats cheating

 

There seems to be a very strange attitude amongst heads where any suggestion that cheating might be an issue in the system is reacted to with resentment rather than anger that it is happening.

Surely all the schools not cheating would want it stamped out in those schools where it is happening (and we know for a fact that it is happening in some)?

More importantly, any schools putting pressure on their staff to cheat must surely be prevented from doing this (and we know this is happening in some too)?

Wouldn’t it make more sense for unions, leaders and teachers to unequivocally state they will not tolerate cheating and will support measures to stop it? Currently that message never really seems to come across.

Your thoughts? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…

 

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link

Schools close to funding breaking point, warn heads
University shakeup: higher fees for some and new Office for Students proposed
Categories: Leadership, Policy, Primary and Teaching.

Comments

  1. A OSullivan

    This system has been open to abuse for years as evidenced as long ago by an excellent investigation led by The Guardian’s Angelique Chrisafis’ detailed investigation into SATs cheating that produced at least 26 examples of malpractice, many of which I have witnessed myself that still continue:

    Link: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2002/jun/04/publicvoices
    Link: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2002/jun/05/schools.news1

    There is indeed much continued rumour that an eminent member of HMI who was previously a long serving head teacher across several schools, succeeded in attaining high SATs scores through helping SEN pupils with the answers. 

    The current system of administering SATs and indeed any end of year assessment test, remains not for purpose.

  2. Nor_edu

    SchoolsImprove agree with your points, but I think it’s the system that is forcing this behaviour. Sad to see colleagues reduced to it.

  3. The way to stop cheating is to stop using schools test results as fodder for league tables and for making judgements about schools..  Sat results should be about the child, not the school.  Parents are entitled to the results, not the wider community. Schools are not factories

    Yes, cheating is reprehensible, but bad things happen when people find their jobs at risk.

  4. AndrewSabisky

    Sue_Cowley I mean in one respect given the incentives it’s not surprising but it does not say good things about teachers’ honesty

  5. EdSacredProfane

    Sue_Cowley LearningSpy AndrewSabisky mazst FarrowMr FE largely has TA and so does HE. The solution is to have bench marked external 1/2

  6. EdSacredProfane

    Sue_Cowley LearningSpy AndrewSabisky mazst FarrowMr assessment alongside TA with a desire to challenge malpractice.

  7. AndrewSabisky

    EdSacredProfane Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst FarrowMr I have never met a student who was happy with this. Piss off your lecturer

  8. AndrewSabisky

    EdSacredProfane Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst FarrowMr I have never met a student who was happy with this. Piss off your lecturer

  9. AndrewSabisky

    EdSacredProfane Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst FarrowMr and it ends really badly, with basically no way around it.

  10. AndrewSabisky

    EdSacredProfane Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst for my MSc I deliberately picked essays that I knew wd be marked by ppl who liked me

  11. EdSacredProfane

    AndrewSabisky Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst That is why you have to have some external validation is it not? Not sure what your point is.

  12. EdSacredProfane

    mazst Sue_Cowley LearningSpy AndrewSabisky FarrowMr Only way around it as far as I can see to get nuanced assessment

  13. AndrewSabisky

    EdSacredProfane Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst no one had any confidence that external validation was remotely meaningful

  14. EdSacredProfane

    AndrewSabisky Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst Indeed that’s because much practice in education is tick boxing and not meant to be 1/2

  15. EdSacredProfane

    AndrewSabisky Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst meaningful.Practice because a proxy for the actual activity itself. Going through the motions

  16. AndrewSabisky

    EdSacredProfane Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst no it’s because external moderation is a con. Moderators usually can’t be arsed

  17. AndrewSabisky

    EdSacredProfane Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst they are badly paid and often less eminent than the original marker

  18. AndrewSabisky

    EdSacredProfane Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst plus the universities pay them to do it! Conflicts of interest everywhere

  19. EdSacredProfane

    AndrewSabisky Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst That’s pretty much what I said isn’t it? What are you proposing giving multiple choice to 1/2

  20. EdSacredProfane

    AndrewSabisky Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst to post Grad’s. There is already both External and internal assessment all that is 2/2a

  21. EdSacredProfane

    AndrewSabisky Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst needed is more research into benchmarking between the two looking for variance

  22. AndrewSabisky

    EdSacredProfane Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst my point is that I have hated internal assessment whenever I’ve found it

  23. AndrewSabisky

    EdSacredProfane Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst in tests that are high-stakes for the test-taker, the marker should be entirely external

  24. EdSacredProfane

    AndrewSabisky Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst A combination of the two makes more sense to me. It creates inbuilt tensions in the 1/2

  25. AndrewSabisky

    EdSacredProfane Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst as someone who frequently has antagonistic relationships with my teachers, it doesn’t to me

  26. AndrewSabisky

    EdSacredProfane Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst when being tested I want to know that I am getting a fair shake, that’s not too much to ask

  27. EdSacredProfane

    AndrewSabisky Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst It presumes that external validation is unproblematic, which is a bit irrational 1/2

  28. AndrewSabisky

    EdSacredProfane Sue_Cowley LearningSpy mazst I will take the random errror associated with an external marker over systematic bias

Let us know what you think...