Our Lady of Victories Has SATS Results Scrapped

Investigation by the Department for Education finds 'maladministration'

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First Prize for Our Lady of Victories School (23/5/2017)

OLV Ranked 25th in England & Wales Jan 2012

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One of Putney's top performing primary schools, Our Lady of Victories Roman Catholic Primary School has had last year's SATS results annulled after the Standards and Testing Agency found 'maladministration' in the Year 6 test.

Headteacher Deirdre McDonald stepped down in December, shortly after parents had been told about the results although her departure had been planned beforehand.

The school was the top performing primary in Wandsworth last year and is consistently one of the top performing primary schools not only in the borough but across London. It was the primary school chosen by Sir Nick Clegg and his wife Miriam González Durántez for their children when they were living in Putney.

On Friday evening (8 March) The Evening Standard published a letter to parents, that the paper had seen which said: 'Following an investigation … the KS2 [Key Stage 2] results for spelling, punctuation & grammar and mathematics at Our Lady of Victories have been annulled on the grounds of maladministration. This investigation was prompted by an anonymous allegation to Ofsted of over-aiding and reviewing of completed papers. The STA identified what they considered to be a number of areas of concern about the accuracy of pupils’ results. It is a distressing situation for the school and we can assure you that the governors are taking it extremely seriously.'

A candidate is being sought to fill the Head Teacher role which offers a salary of £72,000 per year.

A school spokesperson said, "The school took issue with a number of the STA’s findings so we were disappointed at their final decision, to which there was no appeal permitted. Deirdre McDonald’s departure was completely unrelated to that ruling. The governors were notified at the beginning of 2018 of her wish to retire once a suitable replacement could be found and she eventually retired in December 2018 after seven years service as an exceptional Headteacher.”

One parent, who asked not to be named, told the Evening Standard, 'As parents, we care about what our children are learning and trust that schools are behaving honestly. If pupils are being given help to complete tests then it doesn’t do them any favours … if they don’t actually have the knowledge they are supposed to.'

A DfE spokeswoman told the Evening Standard that the issue would not adversely affect pupils personally, but added: 'Any instances of maladministration of the national curriculum assessments are completely unacceptable.'

Our Lady of Victories is in the Thamesfield ward and local Councillor Mike Ryder said he did not know any full details about the issue, but he added that all of Thamesfield’s schools are first-rate and he is sure the school will overcome this.

March 14, 2019

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