A school has had all its Kent Test papers discounted
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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