Parents in Kent are furious after a government contractor 'lost thousands' of primary school SATs results.
Year 6 pupils across the country sat the Key Stage 2 tests in May - the results of which help secondary schools gauge their abilities.
But a fiasco has seen a significant number of papers and results go 'missing' - in what parents have described as "a kick in the teeth" for youngsters.
Kelly Whelpdale, from Ramsgate, was shocked to receive a call from Bromstone Primary School in Broadstairs on Tuesday, informing her daughter's paper has been lost.
"I'm really disappointed for my daughter, because she worked so hard and I know how difficult she finds it," she said. "I just feel absolutely gutted."
Jessica, 10, is the youngest in her year at school, and has Irlen Syndrome which affects the brain's ability to process visual information.
"She can't read off white paper so anything to do with exams or revision has all to be put onto orange paper for her," explained Kelly, 36.
"We were paying for extra tutoring, just to get her through (her SATs).
"She was so nervous, absolutely dreading it.
"So to actually lose her paper it's just kind of knocked her - she's like, 'well what's the point?'"
Kelly, 36, says that despite having sat the exams, Jessica has been marked 'absent' by the government's marking contractor Capita.
"If you revised for an exam, sat the exam, and then the examiner says 'no sorry no results, you were absent for it' - it's a kick in the teeth," said the mum.
"I know we won't get her paper back, but I want that absent mark removed off her file.
"I want them to just own up to this and say 'we lost her paper, that's why she doesn't have a result'."
Other Kent parents have reported similar issues.
One mum wrote on Facebook: "They lost my son’s Maths papers this year too. The only child in his school."
“We understand that this is frustrating for the affected schools..."
Private firm Capita collected scanned and marked 3.8 million test papers on behalf of the government's Standards and Testing Agency this summer.
Due to the Covid pandemic, it is the first year the contractor has marked SATs papers, despite being given the role several years ago.
Capita says fewer than 3,800 tests are currently "missing", and apologised for any errors it has made.
A spokesman said: "The overwhelming majority of pupils across over 16,000 schools have had their scripts processed and correct marks returned to those schools.
“A very small number of scripts, fewer than 0.1% of the total, are currently flagged as missing.
"Our aim is to return a result for every test taken and we recognise that, as a consequence of these missing scripts, this is not yet the case.
"We are working with the affected schools to determine why scripts are missing, but the most likely reasons are scripts being lost during processing, or because a pupil may not have sat a test despite being marked as present.
"Some scripts are not missing but were received after the usual marking period or could not be marked ahead of return of results day and results for these will be returned to schools shortly.
“We understand that this is frustrating for the affected schools and pupils and we apologise to them for any errors that are our responsibility.
"We are committed to a process of continuous improvement and will learn any necessary lessons for next year’s test cycle.”
A Department for Education spokesman acknowledged the situation is "frustrating" for affected pupils and parents.
The spokesman said: “While some 3.8 million test scripts have been processed, alongside results for over 99% of pupils, we are aware that a number of scripts were not included when results were made available last week. We wrote to all schools affected in advance.
“We recognise this will be frustrating for those schools.
"Our delivery partner, Capita, is investigating all cases of missing results and working to reduce the number as far as possible, while keeping schools up to do date.
"We expect to make significant progress on this matter this week.”