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SATS to be scrapped for 14-year-olds

PUBLISHED: 18:00 14 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:31 05 July 2010

THE Government has scrapped SAT exams for 14-year-olds following a marking fiasco which left thousands of children without test results this summer.

Schools secretary Ed Balls announced that they would be replaced by more frequent classroom assessments by teachers in years 7, 8 and 9.

THE Government has scrapped SAT exams for 14-year-olds following a marking fiasco which left thousands of children without test results this summer.

Schools secretary Ed Balls announced that they would be replaced by more frequent classroom assessments by teachers in years 7, 8 and 9.

The Key Stage 3 tests - introduced by the Tories in 1993 - had become "less and less relevant", he said.

Mr Balls said: "We need a more intensive focus in the early years."

He stressed that the compulsory national testing of 11-year-olds at Key Stage 2 were “here to stay”.

“Radical reforms” would also include the introduction of US-style "school report cards" for all primary and secondary schools, Mr Balls announced.

The cards, based on practice in New York, are intended to provide parents with a simpler and more comprehensive snapshot of a school's performance.

They will be introduced in addition to existing assessments and Ofsted reports.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority terminated its contract with ETS - the US company responsible for the marking - after some results were delayed; some pupils were told that they had been marked as absent when the tests were taken, even though they did sit them; some schools had scripts returned unmarked and other scripts were sent to the wrong schools.

An independent inquiry into the delays, led by Lord Sutherland, is due to report back later this year.

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