HUNDREDS of primary schoolchildren across Kirklees face leaving school this summer without knowing their results in government tests.
The National Assessment Agency has revealed that results for key stage two and key stage three tests will be a week late.
This will mean that Sats results due today will not be released until July 15, the last week of term.
A two-day support staff strike expected on July 16 and 17 is likely to shut many schools.
Staff fear they will be unable to process the results for the last day of term, Friday July 18.
Richard Bottom, headteacher at Wilberlee Junior and Infant School in Slaithwaite said: “The whole situation is an absolute nonsense. Schools are expected to deliver the curriculum on time and the government is behaving like this.
“This is just a further example of Sats not being fit for purpose, just a political needs to an end.
“The proposed strike will mean there is no way we can turn around the results before Friday. We will have the unofficial results but have been told we must not give them out. There is enough pressure on schools at the end of term without this happening. I would question the cost per pupil to sit and mark these exams.”
Schools minister Jim Knight said he “deeply regrets” the administration fiasco that has delayed the results of school tests taken by more than a million children across England.
The results for Sats tests for 11 and 14 year olds, due today, will now not be delivered to schools until next week, with some marks not expected to arrive until after the start of the summer holidays.
Appearing in front of a Children, Schools and Families select committee – chaired by Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman – Mr Knight confirmed that Lord Sutherland will chair an independent inquiry and report back to both the DCSF and the qualifications regulator Ofqual.
He said: “Lord Sutherland of Houndwood has agreed to report to Ofqual on problems with the delivery of National Curriculum Tests in the summer of 2008 and to report separately to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on the delivery of the department’s policy by QCA and NAA. These reports will be published.”
The Children, Schools and Families secretary Ed Balls, has written to the Mr Sheerman, to tell him about the delays.
He has confirmed that an independent individual of national standing will chair an inquiry into the delay.
Mr Balls said the delay to schools was unsatisfactory and would inconvenience schools and headteachers and was clearly unacceptable.
Mr Sheerman said although the delay was a “bit of a nuisance” it was not “the end of the world”.
He said the results had not been affected in any way in terms of quality or marking and an independent inquiry would determine what had happened.
Mr Sheerman added that although it was “unfortunate”, no results had been lost and improving standards in schools and giving every child the best possible education was more important.