How to report maladministration at key stage 1 and key stage 2

Reporting concerns, including cheating, about administration of KS1 and KS2 national curriculum tests (often called SATs), teacher assessments and phonics.

How to report a concern

Please contact us by calling the national curriculum assessments helpline on 0300 303 3013 to report concerns about:

  • how the national curriculum tests or the phonics screening check have been administered in a school or by a member of staff
  • how KS1 or KS2 teacher assessment judgements have been reached

The Standards and Testing Agency investigates all reported allegations of maladministration.

What is maladministration?

Examples of maladministration of the tests can include:

  • incorrect opening of test papers
  • pupils resitting a test (or check)
  • pupils being over-aided (cheating, pupils being told the answers, test administrators indicating an answer is correct or incorrect)
  • changes being made to pupils’ test papers outside of test conditions
  • incorrect reporting of pupils’ check scores
  • pupils cheating

Examples of maladministration of teacher assessment can include:

  • inflation or deflation of teacher assessment judgements of pupils’ work to influence school assessment outcomes
  • submission of different data to that agreed following local authority moderation
  • submitting evidence as independent work which has been heavily supported by an adult (scaffolding evidence) that is used to justify teacher assessment standards
  • over-aiding in tests that are used as evidence to justify teacher assessment standards

More information

We have published guidance detailing how allegations of maladministration are investigated, including local authority visits to schools.

Contact information

Standards and Testing Agency


National curriculum assessments helpline: 0300 303 3013

End of KS1 national curriculum assessments are now optional. This guidance will be updated shortly to reflect these changes. In the meantime, more information is available at National curriculum assessments: optional key stage 1 tests.  

Published 8 May 2019