The Sats marking fiasco has claimed its victims after the publication of a damning report into this year’s delays.
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) announced yesterday it is abolishing the National Assessment Agency – the division responsible for delivering curriculum tests for 11 and 14-year-olds in English, maths and science.
The NAA’s managing director David Gee has been suspended, the QCA board announced after its inquiry.
The board added it was suspending QCA chief executive Dr Ken Boston, who offered his resignation at the weekend, until it had time to fully consider the findings of Lord Sutherland’s report, published yesterday.
QCA chairman Christopher Trinick welcomed the results of Lord Sutherland’s inquiry into the shambles, which saw around a million pupils’ results delayed and thousands of scripts go missing or sent to the wrong places.
The 178-page report heaped blame on the QCA and American-owned contractor, ETS Europe.
In August, the QCA severed ETS’s £156million, five-year contract and ordered it to pay more than £24million back. Mr Trinick reiterated the QCA’s apology, adding “we must learn from the mistakes which happened”.
The agency accepted the recommendations of Lord Sutherland, he said, and in response was planning to “fully integrate the NAA into the QCA”.
He added: “NAA will be abolished and will not retain a separate identity or brand. The QCA Board has noted the resignation of QCA chief executive Dr Ken Boston. The board wishes to consider fully the report from Lord Sutherland and has suspended Dr Boston until that is concluded. The QCA board has also decided to suspend David Gee, the managing director of the NAA, with immediate effect whilst fully considering his position.”
Schools secretary Ed Balls, who emerged largely unscathed, labelled delivery of the summer tests a “shambles”. He said: “I want to say to all the teachers, pupils, parents and markers who have been affected how sorry I am for all their inconvenience, stress and frustration. What happened this year was completely unacceptable.”
Shadow children’s secretary Michael Gove said the Sutherland report was an “epic catalogue of incompetence, inefficiency and blinkered inactivity in the delivery of a vital public service”. “It paints an unremittingly depressing picture of the shambles which was this year’s test process,” he added.