2016 Key stage 2: assessment and reporting arrangements (ARA)

Section 7: Monitoring the tests

Information on monitoring the tests including maladministration

7 Monitoring the tests

Monitoring visitors, from either the LA or STA, will make unannounced visits to schools administering the tests. They will check if the school is following the published procedures on:

  • keeping the test materials secure
  • administering the tests

If a school receives a monitoring visit they must allow visitors to:

  • see all KS1 test materials and any relevant delivery notes
  • see all KS2 test materials and any relevant delivery notes observe any KS2 tests being administered
  • see evidence to show that pupils using access arrangements, eg prompters, scribes or additional time, are doing so in accordance with normal classroom practice
  • see copies of correspondence and other documents sent to and received from their LA or STA about the administration of the KS2 tests

STA will carry out a full investigation if a monitoring visitor reports:

  • administrative irregularities
  • potential maladministration

These investigations are used to make decisions on the accuracy or correctness of pupils’ results.

Schools should refer to the guidance on monitoring visits for further information. This will be revised in April 2016.

Maintained schools

LAs have a statutory duty to make monitoring visits to at least 10% of maintained schools in their authority, including any academy that has chosen to be monitored by the LA, before, during and after the test period.


Academies must make arrangements for the monitoring of the KS2 national curriculum assessments and inform STA which LA they have chosen by the end of the autumn term. They can choose either their geographical LA or another LA.

If a school became an academy after the 2015 autumn term they will be part of their geographical LA’s arrangements.

Independent schools

Independent schools participating in the tests will be monitored by STA’s monitoring visits agency.

7.1 Maladministration

The term ‘maladministration’ refers to any act that:

  • affects the integrity, security or confidentiality of the national curriculum assessments
  • could lead to results that don’t reflect pupils’ unaided work

Schools could be subject to investigations of maladministration if they don’t comply with:

Schools should report any issue with the administration of the tests and/or any allegations of maladministration they receive by calling the national curriculum assessments helpline on 0300 303 3013.

STA has a statutory duty to investigate any matter brought to its attention relating to the accuracy or correctness of any pupil’s results in the national curriculum tests.

STA’s maladministration team works closely with LAs to investigate any allegations of maladministration. The ‘Maladministration investigation procedures’ explain how STA does this.