Felixstowe: Exam error places school second bottom in national rankings

FELIXSTOWE: Owning up to an error in the way a test was run has today left a Felixstowe school almost bottom of the national school rankings.

Staff at Kingsfleet Primary gave Key Stage Two pupils five minutes less in their English reading test than they should have had.

While this may have given the children a disadvantage rather than an advantage in terms of their results, the school felt it best to admit the error – only to then learn that the examining board would not allow their test results to count.

While in English writing students marks were high and 96 per cent of them made two levels of progress, the reading score was given a zero.

Despite the school scoring 84 percent in maths, it meant Kingsfleet, in Ferry Road, was placed second bottom of the national league table.

Today headteacher Kyrsty Beattie stood by her decision that honesty was the best policy and she was right to admit the school’s error.

“It was only a slight error, not a huge one, and I could have kept hush about it and said nothing – we had given the children less time, not more, to do the test,” said Mrs Beattie.

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“Had it got out though that we had done the test incorrectly, our credibility would have been called into question.

“I believe in honesty no matter whatever the consequences may be.

“Every school in the country is following the same guidelines and you can only compare fairly if everyone has done it correctly.

“We are being persecuted for our honesty in a way.

“Our writing result was very good but it could not count because reading and writing is a combined result.”

It did mean the school’s position in the league table wasn’t a true reflection, but she had spoken to the high schools where the children will go and there will be no impact on the youngsters at all.

Earlier this year Kingsfleet, which has about 175 students, was praised by Ofsted inspectors who graded the school as “good”, the second highest grade, and said most pupils were working at well above average in English and maths.

n Should the school have owned up to its error? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ispwich IP4 1AN, or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk