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This year’s testing season in England was disrupted by the leak of national examinations, not once, but twice!
The first leak was blamed on a “rogue marker” at Pearson, someone who got early access to the tests.
The second leak was the national test for students in their sixth year, 11-12 year-olds.
“The Department for Education suffered a second major embarrassment over its controversial exams for primary school pupils, after answers for a test due to be sat by all 10- and 11-year-olds in England were leaked online.
“Nearly 600,000 year 6 state school pupils are to sit the test of spelling, punctuation and grammar (Spag) on Tuesday, but it emerged that both the test paper and its answers were posted to a website the day before by the department’s contractor, Pearson.
“The error means that the answers – such as lists of words pupils were to be asked to spell – could have easily been downloaded, copied and distributed a day ahead of the crucial test, potentially allowing parents and teachers to teach pupils the correct answers.
“Labour accused the education department of compromising the test, which was already a subject of national protests last week by parents concerned that primary-age pupils were being placed under too much pressure, and authors including Philip Pullman claimed the tests were too demanding.
“It is the second time in just the space of three weeks that the department has been embarrassed in its attempts to impose tougher Spag tests on primary school pupils.
“Last month the scheduled Spag test for six- and seven-year-olds at key stage 1 had to be scrapped after the education department’s testing agency mistakenly included the actual test paper within a bundle of practice material published three months earlier.”
A new international industry emerges: test security. Better locks needed on the barn doors.