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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Education in the media: Wednesday, 8 November

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Exams and qualifications

Today’s education in the media looks at the cost of administering SATs.


The TES has written about the supposed annual costs of administering the National Curriculum tests (SATs) for key stages 1 and 2. In response to an FOI the Department for Education released the breakdown of the costs, including producing, administering, marking, moderating and delivering of these tests in 2016.

Development and delivery of the national curriculum tests at the end of key stages 1 and 2 takes place over a 3 to 5-year period. As such, work on multiple test cycles occurs concurrently and are accounted for in different financial years meaning it is not possible to attribute spending to a particular year’s tests. This was not reflected in the TES piece.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

Along with the new rigorous national curriculum, the national assessments are vital to ensuring every child reaches their full potential. These tests, along with the judgements teachers make every day, help schools to monitor the progress of their pupils.

We work closely with test providers to ensure that training materials, supportive guidance and the administration of national curriculum tests deliver value for money for the taxpayer.

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