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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/key-stage-2-tests-and-phonics-screening-check-keep-materials-secure/guidance-on-the-security-of-key-stage-2-tests-and-phonics-screening-check-materials
Headteachers are responsible for keeping key stage 1 (KS1) and key stage 2 (KS2) tests and phonics screening check materials secure from when their school receives them until the end of the test and check administration periods.
Schools that choose to download electronic versions of KS1 tests or phonics screening check materials from NCA tools must ensure all electronic files, and any materials subsequently printed in hard copy, are also stored securely until the end of the test or check period.
Headteachers should make sure that teachers and all other staff that may handle the materials understand their sensitivity. This will help ensure that the security and confidentiality of the tests and the phonics screening check is maintained, so that no pupil has an unfair advantage over another.
KS1 and KS2 test materials include:
- test papers
- reading booklets
- answer booklets
- KS1 mark schemes
- stationery items used to administer KS2 tests or package scripts, including attendance registers, script return bags and labels
Phonics screening check materials include:
- pupils’ materials
- scoring guidance
- completed answer sheets
Practical advice for keeping materials secure
- Check the delivery, then put the unopened test or check packs back in the original delivery box and reseal the box. We recommend that 2 members of staff are involved when checking the delivery.
- Store the boxes in a secure, locked cupboard. The cupboard should be in a separate storeroom, if possible, with a high-quality lock on the storeroom door (such as a five-lever lock).
- Where possible, don’t store test or phonics screening check materials in a room where IT equipment is also kept, as this equipment is often targeted during burglaries.
- Limit access to the storeroom wherever possible and control access to the keys. Make sure all spare keys are clearly numbered and kept secure.
- Allocate responsibility for the cupboard key(s) and logging requests for access to the materials to a member of staff who is not directly involved in administering the tests or the phonics screening check.
- Keep a chart on the door of the store room/cupboard to record any access to the materials and to record regular security checks.
- Make sure there is a reporting procedure in the event of a problem, such as lost or stolen keys.
- Headteachers should check the boxes regularly to make sure they haven’t been tampered with.
- For KS1 tests, check individual test packs have not been opened before the test administration window begins on Tuesday 1 May. Schools must keep test materials secure and treat them as confidential until Friday 1 June. This includes any electronic versions of the tests downloaded from NCA tools, and any materials subsequently printed in hard copy.
- For KS2 tests, check individual test packs have not been opened before the test date (unless the school has an approved early opening application). Where an early opening application is approved, the test pack must be resealed and all tests kept securely.
- Phonics screening check packs must not be opened before Monday 11 June. Schools must keep check materials secure and treat them as confidential until Monday 25 June. This includes any electronic versions of check materials downloaded from NCA tools, and any materials subsequently printed in hard copy.
If you suspect a breach of security, you must report the incident immediately to the national curriculum assessments helpline. If you do not follow the correct procedures, your school may be subject to a maladministration investigation.
Schools used as a polling station
If your school is used as a polling station you should:
- ensure that test or phonics screening check materials are secure and kept away from the polling station area and visitors
- check the materials before and after the opening and closing of the polling station
Standards and Testing Agency
National curriculum assessments helpline 0300 303 3013
For general enquiries about national curriculum tests.