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National Curriculum Tests

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 5 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many complaints his Department received concerning the quality of marking of Key Stage 2 national curriculum tests in each of the last five years. (253081)

Information on the volume of queries received from schools about the quality of marking of the National Curriculum tests, during the period 2004 to 2007 can be provided only at disproportionate cost. Since 1 January 2008, the Department's Public Communications Unit has responded to 1,016 letters and e-mails about the quality of marking of the National Curriculum tests across both key stages 2 and 3.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment was made of the previous record of ETS Global BV before granting it the key stage tests marking contract. (253496)

Decisions relating to the national curriculum test operations contract are the responsibility of the qualifications and curriculum authority (QCA). The award of the contract to ETS was investigated by Lord Sutherland as part of his Inquiry into the 2008 test delivery difficulties. Lord Sutherland concluded that the procurement process was sound but that QCA should have undertaken more detailed referencing of contractors prior to awarding the contract to ETS. Lord Sutherland’s report is available at:

http://sutherlandinquiry.independent.gov.uk/index.shtml