SATs (Standard Assessment Tests) measure children’s educational achievement in years 2 and 6, with the ultimate aim of holding schools to account for the attainment of their pupils and the progress they make.
As school life continues to be disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department for Education has announced changes to KS2 SATS, taken at the end of Year 6, in 2021.
On 6 January 2021 it was confirmed that KS2 SATs will not take place in 2021.
Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, said that the government recognised the primary tests “will be an additional burden on schools and it’s important we are very much focused on welcoming children back to the classroom at the earliest opportunity”.
To reflect the disruption to children’s learning, primary school performance data will not be published in 2021.
If you’re interested in how SATs work in a normal year, the information below will explain everything you need to know.
In England, children take SATs twice in their school career:
These assessments take place in the May of year 2 (age 7) and test children’s ability in maths and reading (plus an optional test in English grammar, punctuation and spelling). The tests are informal, so they aren’t timed and they take place in a normal classroom situation.
At the end of Year 6, children usually sit tests in:
These tests are both set and marked externally, and the results are used to measure the school’s performance (for example, through reporting to Ofsted and published league tables). Your child’s marks will be used in conjunction with teacher assessment to give a broader picture of their attainment.
Scores are given on a scale of 80 to 120 – with a score of 100 or more meaning a pupil is meeting the expected governmental standard (but this equates to different marks for each paper). Key stage 1 SATs are marked by teachers within the school; key stage 2 SATs are sent away to be marked externally.
For Key stage 1, you probably won’t get your child’s actual SATs score unless you ask for them, but you will be told whether your child is working at the expected standard as part of their end of year report.
For key stage 2, parents get their child’s scaled score in July and are told whether or not they reached the expected level. The results of Key stage 2 SATs are also published annually in the Department of Education’s primary school league tables, where an online facility enables users to compare schools against other schools, as well as against the national average.
This is assessed through continual assessment of writing during the year. The children are assessed against a list of standards with the evidence coming from writing across the curriculum. To ensure Teacher Assessment judgments are consistent across the country schools are externally moderated by the Local Authority.