Following the announcement that key stage 2 (KS2) test dates will move as a result of the additional bank holiday in honour of the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III, the Standards and Testing Agency (STA) has been working to assess how the change in dates affects other aspects of the KS2 test cycle for 2023.
After careful consideration, STA is moving the date we return 2023 KS2 test results to schools by one week, to Tuesday 11 July 2023. The Department will publish ‘KS2 attainment 2023: national headlines’ statistics at 9:30am on the same date.
The later date for return of results means we can extend the deadline for schools to upload KS2 teacher assessment data on the Primary Assessment Gateway to Friday 30 June, giving schools and local authorities more time to check and submit this data. Note the deadline for submission of key stage 1 teacher assessment data has not changed and will remain Tuesday 27 June.
Schools should note this change will also impact on the processes which follow return of results in 2023. The window for schools to submit marking reviews will move back by one week to Friday 21 July, and the date the Department launches the checking exercise for school performance data will also move back to Monday 11 September.
We have made this decision as the integrity of the results and the quality standards we apply are of paramount importance and a later date for return of results safeguards these for 2023.
Each year, there are six different KS2 papers taken by 650,000 pupils in England, generating some 3.9 million KS2 test scripts. The aim is to externally mark 3.9 million scripts within 3 weeks according to our rigorous quality procedures. Marking takes place throughout this period including at weekends. Once the scripts are marked, STA undertakes a detailed standards maintenance process involving in-depth analysis of test data by our psychometricians. Once this process is completed and we have been able to set the scaled scores for each subject, the data is handed over to analysts in the Department for Education to create ‘KS2 attainment 2023: national headlines’ statistics. These statistics are then published on the same date that individual test results are returned to schools to enable headteachers to complete their annual reports to parents. These processes are complex and run to extremely tight deadlines to ensure that we can return results by early July.
Prior to the announcement of the additional bank holiday, we had expected to collect test scripts for mathematics paper 3 on Friday 12 May. Our approach to collection is designed to allow schools the discretion to administer the tests at the time of the day that they determine is best for their pupils, including those pupils who require additional time. Schools also need time to pack papers ready for collection. Arranging Parcelforce collections would add pressure to schools on the day. We anticipate therefore that the majority of mathematics paper 3 scripts will not be collected until Monday 15 May, a three-day delay. In addition, we are already aware some schools will need to use timetable variations as a result of the change of test dates, due to pre-arranged events on 12 May which cannot be moved. These factors delay both marking and the standards maintenance and statistical analysis work that follows.
We have done everything possible to limit the extent of this delay and appreciate a later date for return of results has a significant impact on schools. We understand this impact may be greater where summer holidays commence earlier in July, or where schools have events booked in the week results will now be returned. We regret the inconvenience this change will cause schools. We expect to return to the usual timings in 2024.
Our guidance, including the KS2 assessment and reporting arrangements, has been updated to reflect the change of dates in test week and the changes to the dates later in the cycle. Additionally, we have published electronic calendars confirming all the final dates, which you can download from the primary assessments future dates page on GOV.UK.
We will inform schools via STA’s assessment updates when any further revised documentation is available.
If schools have queries on this announcement not answered in the guidance, they can contact the national curriculum assessments helpline on 0300 303 3013 or by email at [email protected]