Second Sats paper mistakenly published online

A grammar, punctuation and spelling test which was set to be taken by 600,000 children in Year 6, has been accidentally published online.

The answers to the Sats test were briefly published online by mistake, on a password-protected Pearson site, the government has confirmed. The event is the second occurrence of such a slip-up, with critics complaining that the tests have been undermined.

The Department for Education (DfE) has said it was urgently investigating the breach.

A DfE spokesman said: “The site can only be accessed by Pearson's approved markers, all of whom are under secure contract. Any distribution of materials constitutes a clear breach of that contract.

“Unlike the key stage 1 test, we have no evidence to suggest this was leaked into the public domain by the time schools began to administer it. The integrity of the test has not been compromised and schools should and must deliver it as planned.”

A DfE source has since blamed a ‘rouge marker’ for accessing the test papers on a secure website. It claimed: “While the test doesn’t appear to have leaked into the public domain and can go ahead, a rogue marker did attempt to leak the tests contents. It is clear there is now an active campaign by those people opposed to our reforms to undermine these tests and our attempts to raise standards.”

However, Russell Hobby the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), has argued: “We cannot see how school level results can be published or a national benchmark set on such shaky data. The government may be tempted to pass this off as human error. It is not. Massive, rushed and chaotic reforms have eroded confidence, consent and capacity. It is time to stop.”

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