Lincoln academy test results thrown out after DfE investigation

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The mathematics Sats results of a number of pupils at Hartsholme Academy in Lincoln have been declared invalid following a “maladministration investigation” by the Department for Education.

Some 23 students’ 2016 Key Stage 2 mathematics paper 3 results have been thrown out after the recent inspection by the Standards and Testing Agency (STA).

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Following an investigation into the administration of the 2016 Key Stage 2 tests at Hartsholme Academy in Lincolnshire, a decision was made to annul the mathematics paper 3 results for a number of pupils.‎”

DfE references to maladministration include actions such as “test papers being incorrectly opened, pupils cheating, over-aiding of pupils by test administrators or changes being made to pupils’ test scripts by someone other than the pupil.”

The DfE, responsible for the STA, refused to disclose the full investigation report and findings when contacted by The Lincolnite on multiple occasions.

Education trust CEO Carl Jarvis has said that students will not resit exams, and after internal investigations the school is “confused” about the findings.

In 2013, Hartsholme Academy was named as the nation’s most innovative primary school, six years after it transformed an unsatisfactory rating by Ofsted to its current Outstanding rating.

The incident will affect the academy’s ranking in the education league tables.

Ratings by the Department for Education published in December for the percentage of pupils meeting the expected standard (scaled score of 100 or more) in writing, reading and maths is just 13%, compared with the local authority average of 51% and the national average of 53%.

By comparison, 2015 league tables highlighted the school as far exceeding national average performances,  with 100% of pupils marked as achieving level 4 or above in reading, writing and maths. 

Academy “confused”

Carl Jarvis, CEO and Executive of academy sponsor New Dawn Trust, told The Lincolnite: “We remain extremely confused about the STA investigation.

“Procedures were correctly followed and the school also conducted an internal investigation which concluded that everything was correct and in place. Everything was found to be as it should be.

“Some, but not all the results have been annulled, but the STA are not giving us the report detailing the reasons. The school is in a position where we have no right to appeal, there is no appeal process.

“We are in a quandary at the moment and are confused about the situation, but we continue to be a strong learning institution.

“Some 23 papers have been annulled and there was no reason given, it was just passed as ‘maladministration’.

“There will be no further assessments of the students. The parents of those affected have been spoken to individually.”