A school has had all its Kent Test pa­pers dis­counted

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE - by He­len Fair­ley hfair­[email protected]­m­group.co.uk

A SCHOOL has had its Kent Test re­sults dis­al­lowed af­ter it was dis­cov­ered that pupils had seen pre­vi­ous Kent Test pa­pers.

Year 6 stu­dents at Sh­er­nolds School in Queen’s Av­enue, Maid­stone now face an anx­ious wait to find out how the de­ci­sion will af­fect their fu­ture school­ing.

It is be­lieved that par­ents were called in to the pri­vate school, which charges just un­der £2,000 a term, to be told the news on Tues­day morn­ing.

One de­scribed the news as “shock­ing”, adding that none of them could be­lieve what had hap­pened.

The er­ror came to light when Kent Test re­sults for the 13 pupils were re­leased to the school ear­lier this month.

Of the 13 chil­dren, 10 had been as­sessed as suit­able for a gram­mar school and three as suit­able for a high school.

The school ap­pealed against the re­sults of the three and sent an ex­am­ple of the stu­dents’ work to a panel of as­ses­sors.

But the ap­peal alerted as­ses­sors to the fact that chil­dren had seen two pre­vi­ous Kent Test pa­pers, which is against strin­gent rules laid down for schools. They promptly ruled that all 13 pupils’ re­sults were void.

In­stead, the chil­dren were judged on their past school­work, which led to a fur­ther two pupils be­ing told they did not meet gram­mar school stan­dards.

Along with all other chil­dren in Kent, the five can now ap­peal the de­ci­sion.

The eight Sh­er­nolds pupils as­sessed as meet­ing gram­mar school stan­dard could also still face an ap­peals process, as many schools only ad­mit top-scor­ing Kent Test pupils.

Sh­er­nolds head teacher San­dra Dins­more said: “In com­mon with most schools our pupils prac­tised for the Kent Test sev­eral months ago with a se­ries of test pa­pers which are widely avail­able.

“It would ap­pear that two of th­ese were old Kent Test pa­pers from 14 years and six years ago. This was a mis­take for which the school has apol­o­gised.

“We are de­lighted that eight of our pupils meet gram­mar school stan­dards. We are eval­u­at­ing an ap­peal on be­half of an­other two who we be­lieve also merit gram­mar places.

“We have an ex­cep­tional aca­demic record and as the newly ap­pointed head teacher I am de­ter­mined to build on this achieve­ment.”

A Kent County Coun­cil spokesper­son said it had in­formed the school that it could not base as­sess­ments for pupils on their test scores as the scores could not be re­lied upon as a true in­di­ca­tion of their abil­ity.

He added: “In fair­ness to the chil­dren, the school was given the op­por­tu­nity to present ex­am­ples of their work and other in­for­ma­tion about their aca­demic abil­ity. This was con­sid­ered by a head teacher as­sess­ment panel.

In the ma­jor­ity of cases the ev­i­dence was suf­fi­cient to sat­isfy the panel that the chil­dren were aca­dem­i­cally able and would be ap­pro­pri­ately placed in a gram­mar school.”

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