KS2 SATs pushed back over King’s coronation bank holiday

The Standards and Testing Agency said key stage 2 test dates will be moved to accommodate the extra May bank holiday in honor of King Charles

The Standards and Testing Agency said key stage 2 test dates will be moved to accommodate the extra May bank holiday in honor of King Charles


Primary pupils will sit key stage 2 SATs a day later than planned in May because of the extra bank holiday to mark the King’s coronation.

The Standards and Testing Agency confirmed today that tests will take place in the same week and usual order, but each will take place “one day later than originally planned”.

It comes after an additional bank holiday on May 8, including school closures, was announced earlier this month to mark King Charles’ coronation. The move had thrown the SATs timetable up in the air, as it marks the first day of KS2 SATs.

English grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS) papers 1 and 2 will now take place on Tuesday May 9, the English reading paper on Wednesday May 10, mathematics papers 1 and 2 on Thursday May 11 and maths paper 3 on Friday May 12.

The KS2 timetable variation window (TTV) for each test will also move back by a day. No changes are planned to other assessments, including KS2 teacher assessments, KS1 tests and teacher assessments, the phonics screening and multiplication table checks.

Ministers said they had “considered the views of schools and stakeholders including trade unions and have sought to minimize disruption to schools arising from the change in plans”.

But they acknowledged the adaptations themselves could still cause disruption. “We are aware that schools may have booked events or activities for their year 6 pupils on Friday 12 May.”

It said schools seek to rearrange or delay events to accommodate maths papers that day – but said it would “exceptionally” let them hold tests later where changes are not possible.

“We will approve applications for TTVs arising from booked residentials, trips or similar events scheduled for Friday 12 May only. Schools will need to reschedule the date of the test for the affected pupils to one of the following five school days.”

But variations will not be approved for events scheduled for other test days, and standard variation rules will still apply on the Friday over pupil absence or attendance at alternative provision. The STA’s KS2 assessment guidance will be updated to reflect the changes.

Schools are under additional pressure this year, as performance data from 2022-23 assessments will be published for the first time since the pandemic.

Those with “urgent queries” are advised to contact the national curriculum assessments helpline.

The national day off on May 8 will be two days after His Majesty’s coronation, in a televised ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

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