Berkshire school misses SATs deadline as head teacher ill

MP Rob Wilson
Image caption Rob Wilson said the children in his constituency had 'worked very hard'

The government has been urged to help a group of Year 6 pupils in Berkshire who cannot take their SATs tests because their head teacher has been ill.

Rob Wilson, Conservative MP for Reading East, told the Commons the application deadline for the tests had been missed.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said it was a "widespread issue".

After the session, Mr Wilson declined to name the school because he did not want to reveal the identity of the teacher concerned.

SATs are the National Curriculum assessments of Year 2 and Year 6 children, aged about seven and 11 years old.

'Silly bureaucracy'

During the Commons debate earlier, Mr Wilson said the "sudden, serious illness" of a head teacher in his constituency meant "the names of a number of children who were due to sit the level six SATs were not submitted in time".

He called on the Department for Education to "intervene in this rather silly bureaucracy and allow the children, who have worked very hard to take the test".

Mr Gove told the Commons it was "difficult to make exceptions".

Mr Wilson told the BBC: "I think there are a number of schools around the country that have been late in submitting their Year 6 class for SATs, so there is clearly a difficulty that goes beyond the school in my constituency, but I felt that my school had exceptional circumstances and, therefore, that should be taken into account."

Mr Wilson said he had been in touch with the STA (Standards and Testing Agency) but had been told it would not make an exception for the school.

He said: "I detected room for manoeuvre in the answer I got this afternoon (from Mr Gove) and I intend to press-on on behalf of the school.

"The head teacher's illness is not the fault of the children and it happened at just the wrong time in terms of submitting the application."

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