Possible cheating by schools in Sats tests is the focus of a major new government investigation, it has been reported.
After submitting a Freedom of Information request, the Times Educational Supplement revealed that the Standards and Testing Agency, which is part of the Department for Education, has called in key stage two test papers from 400 primary schools.
The test scripts from May this year will be examined by officials to determine if they include answers that "were not from a pupil's own independent work".
There is a suspicion that some schools might be cheating in Sats tests in order to create a better picture of their performance and prevent teachers from losing their jobs.
Headteachers hit back at this suggestion, arguing that "ministers really don't trust teachers" and that rates of cheating in schools are low.
Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, this month gave a speech at the Policy Exchange where she announced new measures including the National Teaching Service, which will aim to get the best teachers and middle leaders into underperforming schools and areas where they are needed.
She also discussed the issue of primary assessment, underlining the importance of children developing a good understanding of maths and English in the early stages of their education before moving on to secondary school.
The government has already introduced more rigorous Sats at the end of primary school and is now considering the option of national tests for seven-year-olds.
"To be really confident that students are progressing well through primary school, we will be looking at the assessment of pupils at age seven to make sure it is as robust and rigorous as it needs to be," said Ms Morgan.
"We'll be working with headteachers in the coming months on how we get this right, holding schools to account and giving them full credit for the progress they achieve."
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers argued that continual testing and regular policy changes will not help schools and children reach expected standards of English and maths at primary school.
Posted by Harriet McGowan