Standards & Testing Agency
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2009 national curriculum tests review outcomes

Today, the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA) published the provisional report on 2009 national curriculum tests review outcomes. The report contains figures for the number of reviews requested by subject and the number of changes to levels.

  • 1,676,315 pupil test scripts were marked in 2009.
  • Review applications were made for a total of 50,257 pupil test scripts, which represents 3.0% of the total number of scripts marked.
  • A total of 6,532 pupil test scripts received an overall subject level change (to a higher or lower level) as a result of the review request, representing a total of 0.39% of the total number of test scripts marked.

This year saw a reduction in both the number and proportion of reviews of key stage 2 test marking leading to a level change, despite more reviews being requested overall. However, changes to the reviews process and the way in which the data have been collected prevent valid year-on-year comparisons.

QCDA provides schools with the opportunity to request a review of marking if they perceive that the mark scheme has been misapplied, resulting in a pupil being awarded what they believe to be an incorrect level to that which their work is entitled.

Mick Walker, director of education for QCDA, explains: "Marking reviews are an integral part of the quality assurance process for national tests. It is not an add-on or complaints process. If a school requests a review, we ask one of our most experienced markers to review the original marking for the particular aspects of a pupil's script where concerns have been raised, so that we can have confidence in the outcomes of the reviews.

"While general conclusions about the quality of test marking cannot be drawn from this report, it does show marking consistency and suggests that the quality assurance processes are working.

"We would particularly like to thank all our markers, mostly current or retired teachers, who dedicated a great deal of time to ensuring this was a fair, consistent and accurate process."

Download the report 2009 national curriculum tests review outcomes (provisional).

Notes to editors

1. QCDA does not believe that the outcomes of marking reviews are a reflection of the quality of marking in any particular year because many other factors can influence the number of reviews and the outcome. See February 2009 report from Ofqual 'National curriculum test reviews – trends over time: 2000-7'.

2. QCDA is the government agency for the development of curriculum, delivery of assessments and reform of qualifications. We work with the education, skills and business communities to develop effective and innovative ways to help children and adults to progress, achieve their full potential and to demonstrate that achievement to others.

3. Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency is the non-regulatory part of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority

4. For further information please contact the QCDA press office on 020 7509 6789 or 07827 879263 outside office hours. Members of the general public should contact the QCDA enquiry line on 0300 303 3011.


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