Teachers outraged as pupils marked down for correct answer in SPaG test

The Tes reports that pupils who correctly positioned a semicolon were denied a mark for their answer.

Teachers are taking to Twitter in outrage over pupils whose correct answer has been marked wrong by examiners in the spelling, punctuation and grammarSats test.

Some children who accurately positioned a semicolon in a sentence have had their answer marked wrong, while others have been told their answer is correct.

Teachers remain baffled about the inconsistencies in the marking.

​Attempting to work out why some pupils were marked down, teachers suggested that perhaps there was too much space between the two constituent parts of the semicolon.

However, others pointed out that pupils were hard-pressed to fit any punctuation at all into the space allocated.

James Bowen, director of middle leaders’ union NAHT Edge says:”This smacks of an approach to marking these tests which appears to be about catching children out on technicalities rather than recognising what they can do.”

Read more Teachers outraged as pupils marked down for correct answer in SPaG test

Students can not win! This really isn’t acceptable after all the pressure put in these students. What do you think? – Mercedes

Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or  just someone who cares about education and has something to get off  your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) 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.

We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!


Secret Teacher: nothing could prepare me for the death of a student
Primary teachers' average pay down by a 'shocking' £12.70-a-week, and that's without accounting for inflation
Categories: 1st POST.


  1. Nairb1

    Ever wondered why SATS markers have to sign a ‘keep quiet’ clause in their contract? It’s because stupid ‘catch them out’ requirements exist across all subjects. If markers were allowed to talk about these then the SATS would be subject to ridicule.

  2. Victoria Jaquiss

    Just a tiny little example of why SATs are meaningless while at the same time damaging. Cruel, time-wasting, actually uneducational. Insulting to our children’s intelligence.

Let us know what you think...