KS2 assessment week: FAQs 2024

The Standards and Testing Agency has provided a list of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs), alongside the responses their call handlers were trained to provide, that were asked during assessment week in 2023. It was agreed that this might be of use to our members this year and the questions and responses are provided below.

It is still advised that you call the National Curriculum assessments helpline on 0300 3033013 or email assessments@education.gov.uk with any questions that require more detail or clarification.

You can also watch our dedicated Primary Essentials recording from 17 April with the STA for more information on test-week questions and administration. Primary Essentials is our innovative series of complementary online CPD sessions for colleagues leading in primary education. Sign up and access the sessions here.  

If the pupil sustains a recent injury to their hand or wrist that impacts their ability to take the tests, they may use a scribe. If the injury occurred within one week of the tests, the school may also allow up to 25% additional time because the pupil is unfamiliar working with a scribe. 

In these situations, an application for additional time is not required, but the school should be prepared to explain their arrangements in case of a monitoring visit. If the pupil is already familiar with working with a scribe, additional time must not be given. 

The scribe must follow the guidance in section 3.1 and the school must submit a notification form on the PAG.

If schools use an electronic or a web-based translation service to prepare a translation, they must ensure it is secure and any data or content placed there must not be shared with, or visible to, any other party. Schools are responsible for checking the security of translation services before use. 

If schools use an electronic or a web-based translation service, the translation can be done in the hour before the test starts. If longer than an hour is required you would need to make an application for early opening and wait for this to be approved.

Further information regarding translations is available in section 4.1 of the KS2 access arrangements guidance.

If the pen reader has functionality that would provide the pupil with an advantage and this cannot be turned off, then the pupil cannot use the equipment in the test.  Examples of an advantage may include but not specific to the following, the pen reader:

  • reading mathematical symbols in the mathematics texts
  • reading punctuation in the English grammar, punctuation and spelling test
  • having any spell check functionality turned on
Please note alternative options you could consider include arranging for the test to be read to the pupil or for a scribe to record the pupil’s answers. 

Further information regarding the use of electronic aids can be found in section 3.3 of the KS2 access arrangements guidance.

Readers must be used on a one-to-one basis, provided the use of a reader is normal classroom practice for the pupil and there is evidence of this should you receive a monitoring visit. You do not need permission, nor do you need to notify us.

Test administrators must consider the individual needs of the pupils to ensure they are not disadvantaged by the pace at which any text is read. If a pupil requests it, the reader may also read back any part of a pupil’s written response to a question.

Readers must be used in the English reading tests.

Further information regarding readers can be found in section 4.2 of the KS2 access arrangements guidance.

Schools can administer the tests at an alternative location to the rest of the cohort away from the school. This may include administering at a pupil referral unit or the pupil’s home, as long as the pupil is in a fit state. The headteacher is responsible for ensuring that the security and confidentiality of the tests is maintained and the tests are administered according to the test administration guidance.

Further information regarding administering tests at an alternative location can be found in section 9.6 of the KS2 test administration guidance.

When you receive your test materials, you should check all your attendance registers are included in 
the stationery pack and that they are correct. Attendance registers will be packed in consignment 1 in a clearly identifiable envelope marked. The registers will be pre-printed with your school’s name, DfE number and pupils’ details that you provided during pupil registration.

If the attendance register is damaged, you should contact the national curriculum assessments helpline on 0300 303 3013 to request a reprint. To ensure you are using the latest versions, please check the pupils listed on each attendance register and also the version number, for example ‘V1’.

Please destroy any older copies, and do not return these with test scripts.

Additional stationery items can be ordered via the Primary Assessment Gateway.

If you have not received your test papers or materials by the end of April, if a delivery is incomplete, or if test packs are unsealed or damaged on arrival, you should contact the national curriculum assessments helpline on 0300 303 3013. 

Schools receive additional copies of each test paper. If there are insufficient additional copies, schools can photocopy up to nine test papers without seeking permission from STA.

If the school does not wish to take this step, or requires more than nine test papers, they should contact the national curriculum assessments helpline for advice on 0300 303 3013.

The headteacher makes the final decision about test participation but it is recommended that a discussion occurs with the parents, SENCO and other relevant parties if appropriate.

Due to exceptional circumstances and the pupil having a medical condition that requires constant checking of levels, it would be acceptable for the test administrator to monitor the levels on the pupil’s phone during the tests, the pupil would not be allowed access to this device during test conditions.

If a pupil is absent on the day of a test because of illness, the school should wait until they have returned to school before making an application. This is to ensure the pupil is in a fit, physical and mental state to take the test on the day and time stated in the application.

If you have administered a test following an approved timetable variation, the test scripts and attendance register for the rest of the cohort taking that paper must not be sent for marking until the last pupil has taken the test. Seal the inner bag with your completed test scripts on the scheduled day, but do not seal the outer white script return bag until all TTV scripts for that subject are completed.

All the relevant information is in the ‘KS2 tests: varying the test timetable’ guidance.

Pupils taking the test with an approved timetable variation application should be marked as ‘Attended’ (✔) on the test attendance register once the test has been administered - pupils should not be marked as ‘Absent’ (A) or ‘Taking the test in a future year’ (F).

If a pupil is absent on the day of a test and does not return within 5 school days, the school must mark the pupil as ‘Absent’ (A) on the test attendance register.

If an application is not approved, the pupil must not take the test and should be marked as ‘Absent’ (A) on the test attendance register.

The ‘Returning test scripts’ guidance and accompanying video cover this in process in detail if you are still unsure of the correct steps to take.

Marking reviews can be requested on the Primary Assessment Gateway during the application window. The deadline for schools to submit marking review applications on the PAG, by 11:59pm on Friday 19 July.

Related Pages

KS2 assessment week FAQs 2024

  • Assessment
  • Primary
  • Key Stage 2
  • Examinations
  • SATs