The chalk dust has finally settled on one of the most embarrassing episodes to have hit the government.

The delay in marking tests for 11 and 14-year-olds left a bad taste in the mouth of everyone concerned with raising education standards.

And we have now finally seen the full price that must be paid for the marking fiasco which, months later, has still left thousands of children unaware of how they performed in their vital Sats tests in English, maths and science.

In Birmingham alone, nearly 300 test papers for 14-year-olds who sat their Sats in reading, writing, science and maths have still to be marked. But that does not tell the whole story, as hundreds of schools across the country have also lodged appeals against the results they have received, creating another backlog itself.

Birmingham schools have lodged 1,390 appeals against marked papers in English – by far the biggest problem area – with a further 104 in science and 36 in maths.

Lord Sutherland’s report into the marking shambles has now resulted in the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) announcing the abolition of the National Assessment Agency, which has been responsible for delivering the national curriculum tests for 11 and 14-year-olds.

And, another victim is the NAA’s managing director, David Gee, who has been suspended with immediate effect, following on from the decision of QCA chief executive Dr Ken Boston to offer his resignation.

It is to be hoped that these decisions are more than just a case of searching for scapegoats and that real lessons have been learnt.

As the QCA chairman Christopher Trinick rightly says in responding to Lord Sutherland’s findings: “we must learn from the mistakes which happened”.