Mystery over why Sunderland school's exam results have been annulled

Redby Academy has had its 2018 Sats results annulled.
Redby Academy has had its 2018 Sats results annulled.

A Sunderland school has mysteriously had its latest Sats exam results annulled after an investigation by education watchdogs.

Redby Academy, in Fulwell Road, Sunderland, was initially among the highest performing city schools for its 2018 key stage 2 marks.

Three months after the results were made public, however, they have been publicly declared void following an investigation by the national Standards and Testing Agency (STA).

A spokeswoman for the agency said: “Following an investigation by the Standards and Testing Agency, the key stage 2 results for grammar, punctuation and spelling and mathematics at Redby Academy, in Sunderland, have been annulled for all pupils.

"This will not, however, adversely affect any of the pupils personally as the school can provide statutory teacher assessment data to show their progress and attainment in English and mathematics.”

The agency declined to reveal why the results have been annulled.

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Sats, standing for Statutory Assessment Tests, cover reading, writing and maths and at key stage 2 level are a guide as to how each child is performing as they begin secondary school.

Eighty-six % of Redby's Year 6 pupils last year met the expected standards in all three subjects.

This was above both the city's average of 68% and the nationwide average of 64%.

A spokesperson for Wearmouth Learning Trust, on behalf of the school, said: “Redby Academy was notified by the Standards and Testing Agency in December 2018 that they would be carrying out an investigation into the administration of key stage 2 SATs.

"The STA notified Redby in late February 2019 that they have concluded their investigation and regretfully they have decided to annul the results for maths and grammar for all pupils who sat the tests. Unfortunately there is no right of appeal against this decision.

"All pupils affected have successfully transitioned to Secondary School and this will have no negative impact on the children.

"Redby has complied with all requirements of the STA and have written to all affected parents.

"This matter is being taken very seriously and is being fully independently investigated, as such it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Simon Marshall, director of education at Together for Children, which oversees children's services on behalf of Sunderland City Council, said: “The academy and its trust sponsors are working with the Standards and Testing Agency to examine what happened in this case and keeping us informed so that best practice may be shared and we can continue to support schools, children and young people.”