SATs test which was ‘too middle class’ has been criticised by the exam regulator

The Telegraph reports that taken by more than 550,000 10 and 11-year-olds in May 2016, the test was “unduly hard” for some pupils, according to Ofqual.

Around a quarter of students were unable to finish the reading test, which included a passage about two children sneaking away from a party to row across a lake in the grounds.

At the time, teachers claimed that parts of the reading test inaccessible to pupils who rarely leave their estate, adding that the passages have “no relevance to inner-city children or ones with no or little life skills”.

Teachers reported that their students were left in tears by the tests, which they labelled “incredibly difficult”, “ridiculous” and “bloody tough”.

The test, which was specially designed to be more rigorous than previous years to reflect the new curriculum, included questions designed to “stretch” the brightest pupils, who in previous years could have taken a separate test.

“As soon as the reading test had been sat, teachers began to express concerns over its accessibility,” Ofqual’s review into the test found. 

It concluded: “On the balance of evidence presented, it seems plausible that the combined impact from multiple ostensibly negligible challenges – stemming from both question and text factors – may have rendered the 2016 reading test unduly hard to access for at least some pupils.”

When the results were published, just two-thirds of pupils had reached the expected standard in reading.

Read more SATs test which was ‘too middle class’ has been criticised by the exam regulator 

Did pupils at your school find it very difficult? Do you agree that it was ‘too middle class’? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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  1. OK, so let’s never expose inner-city children to how others live? Is that so they never ever have any aspirations beyond the estate? Why do middle-class children have to be exposed to alternative lifestyles in order to develop their understanding and empathy, but not lower-class children? Do you have really low expectations of these children? Don’t you want them to ever develop the life skills the lack of which you are claiming is holding them back?

    Sorry, but 10 and 11 year olds are being exposed to all sorts of things all the time. Why on earth reading about children at a party and rowing across a lake should be so traumatic is beyond me. If the test was too hard, they clearly haven’t been taught very well at all.

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