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6th February, 2020 by Alan Millband
Howes Percival has successfully challenged the Standards and Testing Agency’s decision to annul the maths SAT results of a Wolverhampton primary school.
In August 2018, a Standards and Testing Agency (STA) review claimed that the practices of Northwood Park Primary School (part of the Shine Multi Academy Trust) had unfairly prepared pupils for their Key Stage 2 Mathematics SATs. Following an investigation, the STA took a decision to annul the results.
Following this, Northwood Park instructed the Regulatory Team at Howes Percival and it brought legal action to challenge the decision.
Howes Percival instructed Sarah Clover, counsel of Kings Chambers in Birmingham, to assist in the matter and to bring a claim for judicial review. Despite robustly defending the matter, the Secretary of State for Education ultimately conceded the critical part of the claim and, in August 2019, this led to the STA agreeing to reinstate the annulled results as the results for 2018 are in no doubt.
It is understood that, prior to this case, no institution had successfully challenged an STA decision of this kind. As a result, the STA changed its policy in May 2019 to include a new section for representation or schools under investigation.
The Howes Percival team advising the school included partner, Alan Millband and associate, Phillippa Summerlee.
Alan Millband commented,
“This really is a landmark decision. Until now, it appears that no one had successfully challenged the STA on this kind of issue and we are pleased to see that the affected pupils’ hard-earned results have been reinstated. It also vindicates the hard work and commitment of the relevant teachers, who were devastated by the STA’s original finding that they had tried to gain the pupils an unfair advantage in the tests. The rarity of this achievement is underscored by the STA’s difficulty and delay in publishing the reinstated 2018 KS2 results.”
For more information, please contact the regulation and compliance team.