Was this exam grade unfair?

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A CITY head teacher has slammed the marking of Sats test papers and “absolutely appalling” and unfair on pupils.

Tony Draper is demanding a review and re-mark for 30 per cent of the exams taken by Year 6 pupils at Bletchley’s Water Hall school.

He says the marks given by the official examiners do not reflect the “creative ability” of his pupils.

And he has held up as a prime example of unfairness one essay written by a 10-year-old girl.

The pupil was awarded 13 marks out of 30, a Sats level 3, and penalised for handwriting, text structure and organisation.

But Mr Draper, who says the essay shows “real flair and imagination”, believes it is worthy of 20 marks, a level 4.

“It’s ridiculous, particularly the judgement on handwriting, because it is perfectly legible and sitting on the lines,” he said.

“I can’t help thinking the examiner didn’t like the fact there were crossings-out, but we teach our children to edit their work as they go along and surely that is good practice.”

Mr Draper is among many city heads and teachers who welcomed last week’s government recommendation that Sats be scrapped.

But before he could celebrate he found himself, along with hundreds of other head teachers nationally, embroiled in the marking dispute over the latest papers.

Now he is calling for examiners to rely on the “effective and robust” system in Milton Keynes where teachers make their own assessments.

> What do you think? Is this essay worth more marks? Send your views to the Citizen.