A SCHOOL has had its SATs results declared invalid in two subjects after it was found to have broken exam rules.

St John the Evangelist CE Primary School in Carterton has been rapped for 'maladministration' over its latest Year 6 English reading and mathematics tests, leading to results being annulled.

The well-reputed West Oxfordshire school was investigated by a watchdog at the end of last academic year, and all pupils in the 2017 SATs cohort have now had their scores pulled.

Maladministration can include pupils cheating, being over-aided by test administrators, early opening of test papers, and changes being made to test scripts outside of test conditions.

The Standards and Testing Agency, which carried out the investigation, did not state what type of maladministration had occurred.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "Teachers and parents must have confidence in the integrity of the assessment system - we take allegations such as this very seriously.

"Any instances of maladministration are completely unacceptable.

"This will not, however, adversely affect any of the pupils as the school can provide teaching assessment data to show the pupils’ progress in these subjects."

The Oxford Mail asked both the DfE and St John's to clarify what type of maladministration was investigated, but neither would give further comment. 

The 459-pupil school was rated 'good' by Ofsted in June, when inspectors praised headteacher Mark Smith for his 'relentless pursuit of excellence'.

It has reassured parents that the annulment of pupils' results 'will not disadvantage their future education'.

A parent of a child at the school, who asked not to be named, said: "It just makes you doubt everything you thought the school stood for.

"It makes you question staff's commitment to pupils - it's all very much about the school's reputation and getting good results.

"I don't feel they are putting pupils first anymore."

Mark Winch, chair of governors at the school, said: "As a governing body we recognise the importance of this matter and are in the process of commissioning an independent review.

"We are proud of the pupils' performance at our school - over the last four years, pupils have performed above the national averages.

"These matters should not reflect in any negative way on the experience the pupils had of our school.

"Our Ofsted report was glowing in its description of how our school is run."

Key Stage 2 SATs are taken in Year 6, when pupils are aged 10-11, and are the headline measure for performance as children transition into secondary school.

The tests are taken in May with results published in July, and cover three topics: maths, reading, and a combination of grammar, punctuation and spelling.

St John's results for the latter were not affected and not annulled.