Media Statement - InCAS Assessments
Wednesday 28 October 2009
An error relating to the computer based InCAS assessment tool for General Maths earlier this month led to incorrect results being produced for a number of primary schools. InCAS is an assessment tool developed and administered under contract by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at the University of Durham.
This error was quickly corrected and accurate information was provided to all schools affected. CCEA made every effort to ensure that schools were contacted as quickly as possible.
At that time CCEA initiated a full range of quality checks on the systems used by CEM. CEM assured us that all other information was correct.
We were therefore disappointed to discover, a few days ago, that CEM’s computer system contained a further error, causing the calculation of what are known as “standardised scores” to be incorrect.
The InCAS assessment is primarily designed to produce age related outcomes. Feedback from schools indicated that standardised scores would also be useful so this was included in the development.
Standardised scores are used by some schools to determine how pupils are performing relative to other pupils and are not intended for reporting to parents. The age related scores that have been communicated to parents are correct. Pupils do not need to re-take the assessments.
The accurate standardised scores now are available to schools on the InCAS website as soon as possible. We are currently contacting all schools to advise them of this issue.
CEM acknowledged that the error occurred within their systems and have advised us that they have carried out a detailed investigation. They have provided assurances that following the corrective action that has been taken, results are now accurate.
We acknowledge that this is unacceptable and apologise for any distress or inconvenience caused. We are working with the Department of Education to provide additional support to affected schools.
We will continue to monitor CEM’s work closely as they continue with further checks and the implementation of further quality assurance measures.
Note to Editors
InCAS Assessments are computer based assessments that are taken by pupils in Years 4-7 in primary schools at the beginning of the school year.
As statutory assessments, schools must report the age-related outcomes of the Reading and General Maths to parents by the end of the autumn term.
The outcomes of the assessments are used to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement for each pupil to help inform teaching and learning throughout the remainder of the school year.
InCAS is an assessment tool developed and administered under contract by the Centre for Evaluating and Monitoring (CEM) at the University of Durham.