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Last reviewed on 11 November 2021
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School types: All · School phases: Primary

Find out who decides which pupils participate in Key Stage (KS) 2 SATs, and get advice on how to work with and get buy-in from parents for the assessments.

The headteacher decides, but parents can appeal 

The headteacher's decision on pupils' participation in the tests is final, but parents have a right to appeal it. 

Find out which pupils are eligible and how to decide whether you should withdraw pupils. 

How to get parental buy-in for the tests

You should:

  • Communicate the importance of the tests to all parents - e.g. explain how results may influence their child's education going forward through inappropriate target grades, to help parents understand the consequences 
  • Focus on doing your best to prepare the pupil for the tests
  • Take steps to help you understand the parents' point of view
  • Try not to be accusatory (especially if all you have is a suspicion)
  • Discuss with parents and teachers whether pupils should participate

This advice was given to us by the union ASCL.

Parents that don't allow pupils to attend on test days

You can't force parents to bring their child in on test dates.

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