Commenting on the confirmation from Government that Ofsted will use results from this year’s SATs and GCSEs to judge the impact of school curriculums, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

"The Government's own research shows that even in a non-pandemic year many factors beyond a school’s control, including prior attainment of the cohort, student eligibility for Free School Meals (FSM) and neighbourhood deprivation explains a large proportion of the differences in exam or test results.

'In a pandemic affected year such as this one, therefore, it is even more non-sensical to be using this data to inform any judgements about educational provision or curriculum impact. It should be quite obvious that this data will be severely warped by the differential access to learning experienced by many students, and which has impacted more severely on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

'No number of caveats or caution with the use of data is appropriate or sufficient when the data is simply not fit for the intended purpose, and it is wrong for Ofsted and DfE to be pursuing this approach.”