FOI release

Cost of administering SATs in primary school

Total breakdown of cost of administering standard attainment tests (SATs) for key stages 1 and 2 for the most recent financial year.



  • Date requested: 20 May 2013
  • Date responded: 11 June 2013


The total annual cost of administering standard attainment tests (SATs) for key stages 1 and 2 (producing, administering, marking, moderating, delivering etc). Details from the most recent year possible and a breakdown of the costs, if available.


The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) is responsible for developing and delivering the key stage 2 statutory national curriculum tests (which you refer to as SATs) tests, the key stage 1 phonics screening check as well as other non-statutory tests.

In the financial year 2012 to 2013, STA’s annual programme budget was £35.7m and the administration budget was £5.4m. The 2012 to 2013 expenditure (once signed off) will be included within STA’s annual report which will be published on the GOV.UK website. (This should be available by the end of July 2013).

The latest available expenditure details are for financial year 2011 to 2012 and the table below gives the requested breakdown. Please note that STA was created as an executive agency of the Department for Education in October 2011 and so the expenditure is for 6 months only (ie October 2011 to March 2012).

Area of expenditure Actual spend during 2011 to 2012 financial year
Producing: this includes research and the development and trialling of the statutory tests (but not their print manufacture which is included under delivering) £1,710,039
Administering: this includes moderation and other related costs and services provided by external suppliers, together with STA staff costs £4,194,860
Marking £6,758,227
Moderating included under ‘Administering’ delivering: this includes printing, logistics and data systems £1,899,232
Etc (All costs are covered by the areas set out above)
Published 15 August 2014