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School Tests (Costs)

Volume 301: debated on Tuesday 25 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what was the cost of the National Testing System for seven year olds, (i) in total and (ii) broken down into costs for (a) printing, (b) postage of the test papers, (c) payments to external markers and (d) fees charged by the company which processes the results in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [17761]

The estimated overall costs of implementing the 1997 tests for seven year olds in English and mathematics was some £22 million. This included: (a) printing costs of around £900,000; (b) distribution costs of around £300,000; and (c) external marking costs of around £3,000. There are no estimates for the cost of data collection; the Key Stage 1 results for maintained schools are collated by LEAs (or by an accredited agency for GM schools) for reporting to the Department.The Government are committed to raising standards and the National Curriculum tests for seven year olds play an important part in this.