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Schoolgirl points out punctuation mistakes in year six English exam

Graeme Parton

A school pupil has written a letter to the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, after spotting grammatical errors in her English skills SATs paper.

Rebecca Lee, who attends Bristol’s Christ Church School, was sitting the new Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation test papers when she noticed the mistakes. She then chose to get in touch with Gove to highlight her observation. In her letter, she wrote:

“I understand that you are very keen for us all to learn our complex sentences and use of accurate punctuation. I believe that your department should also use the correct punctuation in all SATs tasks.”

Rebecca was one of thousands of year six students taking the tests in England last week. The newly introduced English exam comprised a 15-minute spelling section and a 45-minute grammar test. The young student’s main observation was that the questions in the spelling test didn’t adhere to the rules she was required to follow in the punctuation section.

It is thought that every student who took the test last week was exposed to the mistakes. Despite Liz Truss, the education minister, saying the new tests would assist children in their use of English, Labour’s shadow education minster, Kevin Brennan, highlighted the embarrassment caused, saying:

“Yet again, Michael Gove has been exposed as Mr Sloppy. He needs to send out a better example to children by making sure the tests his department sets are grammatically correct. This is pretty basic stuff – the Education Secretary must do better.”

The reaction caused by the highlighted mistakes goes to show the importance put on spelling and grammar – even by young minds. For businesses, such incidents not only cause embarrassment, they can also damage profits. It is for this reason that many business owners choose to outsource content creation to a reputable firm. This way, they can relax knowing everything is taken care of by professionals.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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