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Key stage two SATs – answers to common queries

The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) has shared the most common administrative queries that arose last year in relation to key stage two SATs. The FAQs below may help answer school leaders' queries.

Teacher assessment (TA)

I'm having issues submitting TA data using the template on the Primary Assessment Gateway.

Please ensure that you have downloaded the template on your drive inserted the data in the correct format and named it correctly (using the required filename).

Shall I use the engagement model or the pre-key stages?

Teachers must make their TA judgements using the: 

  • TA framework in English writing and science – for pupils who have completed the KS2 programme of study and are working at the standard of national curriculum assessments for that subject
  • Pre-key stage standards in English reading, English writing and mathematics – for pupils who are working below the standard of national curriculum assessments and who are engaged in subject-specific study, or who have not completed the relevant programme of study for that subject
  • The engagement model – if a pupil is working below the standard of national curriculum assessments and is not yet engaged in subject-specific study. 

For further information on what a teacher must assess please refer to section 5.2 of the TA guidance.

Access arrangements

A pupil has broken his wrist just before test week. Can they use a scribe?

If the pupil sustains an injury to their hand or wrist that impacts their ability to take the tests, they may use a scribe. If the injury occurs within one week of the tests, the school may also allow up to 25% additional time because the pupil is unfamiliar working with a scribe. In these situations, an application for additional time is not required, but the school should be prepared to explain their arrangements in case of a monitoring visit. 

If the pupil is already familiar with working with a scribe, additional time must not be given. The scribe must follow the guidance on access arrangements in section 3.1 and the school must submit a notification form on the PAG.

May I use google translate as we cannot afford a translator?

If the head teacher is happy that the translation given is of a high-quality and would not advantage or disadvantage the pupil, they can use it. If schools use something like ‘Google translate’, the translation must be done in the hour before the test starts unless the school has an approved application for early opening. Pupils cannot use a web-based translation service during the tests.

Can I administer the tests at the pupil's home?

Schools can administer the tests at an alternative location to the rest of the cohort away from the school. This may include administering the tests at a pupil referral unit or the pupil’s home, as long as the pupil is well enough to take the test. The head teacher is responsible for ensuring that the security and confidentiality of the tests is maintained, and the tests are administered according to the test administration guidance.

Can a pupil use an epen during the tests?

If the pen reader has functionality that would provide the pupil with an unfair advantage and this cannot be turned off, then the pupil cannot use the equipment in the test. Examples of functionality that would provide an unfair advantage may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • reading mathematical symbols in the mathematics texts
  • reading punctuation in the English grammar, punctuation and spelling test
  • having any spell check functionality turned on

Please note alternative options you could consider include arranging for the test to be read to the pupil or for a scribe to record the pupil’s answers. 

I have pupils who are diabetic  – can they use their phones to check their sugar levels?

Due to exceptional circumstances and the pupil having a medical condition that requires constant checking of levels, it would be acceptable for the test administrator to monitor the levels on the pupil’s phone during the tests, the pupil would not be allowed access to this device during test conditions.

Delivery of test materials

I can't find the attendance register.

When you receive your test materials, you should check all your attendance registers are included in the stationery pack and that they are correct. Attendance registers will be packed in consignment 1 in a clearly identifiable envelope. The registers will be pre-printed with your school’s name, DfE number and pupils’ details that you provided during pupil registration.

How do I order a new attendance register?

If the attendance register is damaged, you should contact the national curriculum assessments helpline on 0300 303 3013 to request a reprint. To ensure you are using the latest versions, please check the pupils listed on each attendance register and also the version number, for example ‘V1’. Please destroy any older copies, and do not return these with test scripts.

I need additional material, ie another green bag.

Additional stationery items can be ordered via the Primary Assessment Gateway.

Test orders

I haven't received my test papers order.

If you have not received your test materials by the end of April, if a delivery is incomplete, or if test packs are unsealed or damaged on arrival, you should contact the national curriculum assessments helpline on 0300 303 3013. You may be asked to send a photograph of any damaged packages.

I need more test papers.

Schools must contact STA to request permission before photocopying test materials to make up for insufficient quantities. Schools can also contact neighbouring schools to see if they have any spare test scripts.

First published 24 April 2023