What Happens if You Fail Year 6 SATs?

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Year 6 SATs are a stressful time for students and parents alike. They represent the end of a long primary school career and are often seen as a stepping stone into high school. While it can be exciting to see how much hard work has paid off, many parents also worry how the result may affect their child’s future education. With concerns about sets, teacher evaluations, and other consequences of your child’s SATs scores, for many parents’ SATs feel like more than just a test! In this article we will explore exactly what might happen if your child fails year 6 SATs and assuage your concerns about how this may affect their life later on.

It is not possible to fail your Year 6 SATs. These exams are simply a measure of where your child is achieving based on the national standard. Therefore, there is simply lower and higher scores, and each child’s best score will differ based on their ability. A lower-than-average score may mean that your child needs extra help in that subject and can help them access tutoring or other work.

While this should have given you a short answer to your questions about Year 6 SATs, please read on for full details on this topic.

How do you know if you have failed your Year 6 SATs?

Year 6 SATs results are given to parents usually with their child’s end of term school report. This includes confirmation of what scaled score your child received, and how this matches up with the national standard.

Parents usually do not receive their child’s raw mark, as this can be confusing between the different papers. Instead, the score is converted into a number from 80 to 120, which will inform you how each subject went and allow you to compare them to each other.

It is important to remember that there is no such thing as “failing” a SATs exam. Students are not given a pass or fail mark, but are instead told if they are working above, at, or below the national expected standard (AS).

This should not be moralised for children – each child’s best will be at a different level, and getting a lower score does not mean you worked less hard, or that you failed.

Gaining a scaled score of 100 or more means that your child is working at the expected national standard, which on their report may be called AS. A score of below 100 may be written as NS. You can learn more about the SATs scoring system in this Think Student article.

These acronyms are the most important to understand, but Explore Learning has a great glossary of key SATs terms that explain other words that may be on your child’s SATs results sheet, which can be found here.

More information about what SATs are can be found here, from Think Student.

When do you find out SATs scores?

KS2 SATs are taken in May of the year you leave primary school, Year 6. They are externally marked, so it may take longer to get the results back than for Year 2 SATs.

Most schools will receive provisional SATs results by the end of July that year. The teachers then use these grades as part of their end of term reports.

Some schools will send out a separate SATs report card for each child, which tells you about their scores and where they are in relation to the national average. However, most schools just include this information along with their end of term report (or end of year report). Read this Think Student article to find out exactly when SATs results come out.

Who knows your Year 6 SATs scores?

Year 6 SATs scores are used for only a few purposes. One is to inform your primary school of how their teachers are doing, and whether they may need extra training in some subject areas (if every child achieves lower grades than expected).

Not every teacher in the school will know your child’s SATs score, only those that need to know the information. For most students this means their class teacher, as well as the headteacher or other members of SLT staff.

SEN staff such as one-to-one tutors may also be informed if it is directly relevant to your child that they know. Of course, parents also find out your Year 6 SATs scores.

Both parents have a legal right to know the SAT score, even if they do not have regular contact with the child. More information about legal rights to information about school achievement can be found here, from the UK government website.

Furthermore, secondary schools are also given SATs results.

Do secondary schools see your Year 6 SATs score?

Year 6 SATs are used by many high schools in a number of different ways. They are usually given to the school at the same time as parents receive them, as they need time to plan for the new school year which these results help them to do.

Firstly, the schools will use the scores to determine where students are working in relation to their peers. This helps them to identify any students who may need extra help or tutoring to be working on the same level as their peers.

This sort of early identification is key, as it means that students catch up as quickly as possible. Then they can continue normal education with confidence, rather than feeling unnecessarily concerned or stressed by academics.

Furthermore, as part of this some secondary schools also use SATs to determine children’s sets in Year 7. This means the class that they are in to learn some subjects, such as English or maths, and also sometimes languages.

However, some schools use their own tests to determine this, such as aptitude tests taken in the first few weeks of school. Furthermore, it is always possible for these sets to change later in the school year if your child’s attainment and ability changes.

Do not panic if your child is in a lower set – this will mean that they go at a pace which is more manageable, and often that they can get more help from teachers than those in high sets.

For more information about whether SATs are important, and what they are used for, please check out this Think Student article.

Do you still get into secondary school if you fail Year 6 SATs?

SATs scores have absolutely no bearing on whether you get a secondary school place if the school is a non-selective state school. This may differ at a grammar school or private school, but if you are concerned about this then you should contact the individual school. In most cases, it will make no difference.

One key reason for this is that SATs are taken in May, whereas secondary school places and acceptance is confirmed in March. Therefore, it would be very difficult for schools to base their decisions on these results.

Furthermore, as already mentioned, “failing” Year 6 SATs (when your child is working below expected level) will simply inform some of the schools’ decisions, such as what set your child will be in and whether they may need extra help to catch up with some subjects, such as tutoring.

This is ultimately positive, as it means that these differences can be supported, and your child can learn better!

Can you retake your Year 6 SATs?

As explained, Year 6 SATs are mostly used by schools to measure their teachers, as well as to help secondary schools to understand their new students. Therefore, students do not need to worry about their results.

This also means that there is no need to retake Year 6 SATs, even if your score is NS, or below expected standard. Scoring below this standard simply tells schools that you may need more help in this subject in the future.

Due to this, there is no official route to retaking SATs. The results are not important enough that students need to resit the paper, and in most cases secondary schools will re-assess their new pupils in Year 7 anyway. This means that retaking SATs would be unnecessary.

Can you appeal your Year 6 SATs result?

It is possible to appeal your child’s SATs result. The first and most important step is to speak to your child’s school, as they will know what the process looks like, and how it works. They can also advise you as to whether they think it is worth you appealing the SATs result.

There is a deadline for appealing the result, which is usually around the 21st of July (although it can vary based on the year). You can read more about appealing your SATs results in this article by SATs-Papers.com

Furthermore, schools can also make an application to have a result reviewed. This may result in a child’s score being changed, their NS or AS judgement being changed, or another change such as a code correction. It may also result in a change of the test marked on paper, such as re-counting the marks allocated, although this is rare.

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