Page last updated at 11:05 GMT, Thursday, 18 December 2008

Appeals soar after Sats fiasco

piles of test scripts
The league tables from this year's tests remain unpublished

Appeals against the marking of this year's national curriculum test papers in England have reached record levels after a marking "shambles".

Schools have lodged complaints about the marking of more than 200,000 test papers for 11 and 14-year-olds - that is four times higher than last year.

Mistakes by the firm contracted to mark the tests meant many schools did not have the results before the summer.

ETS Europe lost the contract and the head of the exams watchdog resigned.

An inquiry into the late delivery of results to 1.2 million pupils said there had been "massive failings" in the administration of this year's tests, which are in English, maths and science.

The inquiry, by Lord Sutherland, did not examine the reliability of the test marking.

Figures on appeals against marking have been released by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).

It says 200,000 appeals have been lodged so far - compared with 50,000 in 2007. It is thought the final figure will be up to 15,000 higher.

The 200,000 figure represents more than one script in 20.

The watchdog says it expects the reviews of tests papers to be completed in January.

The government's publication of schools' test results has been delayed because of what Schools Secretary Ed Balls has described as the "shambles" of this year's marking, for which he has apologised.

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