About Mike Treadaway

Mike Treadaway is Director of Research at FFT and has over 20 years of experience in working with education data in the context of school improvement. A former teacher, since founding FFT he has developed models for analysing pupil progress, has led the processing, matching and data analysis for the National Pupil Database, and has provided advice to DfE to support the development of new school accountability indicators and analysis of national trends in school performance.

What difference does a year make? Part 1

This is part one of a series of posts exploring trends in attainment by month of birth over time. A link will be added to later posts once they have been published. Dave Thomson’s recent blogpost about how attainment varies by month of birth reminded me of one of the reasons I first got interested [...]

By | March 15th, 2017|Pupil demographics, School accountability|

Don’t try to forecast Progress 8!

In our visits to secondary schools this year we are seeing a huge variety of target setting strategies. It is completely understandable that headteachers want a framework for knowing whether year groups are on-track to do well. This isn’t easy with re-scaled GCSEs dribbling on-stream and a hard accountability target – Progress 8 – that [...]

By | February 24th, 2016|School accountability|

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes in education in England

David Bowie sang “And every time I thought I'd got it made, It seemed the taste was not so sweet” (Changes, 1971). He could have been thinking about the changes which will happen over the next few years in government accountability systems – scaled scores at Key Stage 2 in 2016 and reformed GCSEs from [...]

By | January 18th, 2016|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

Pupil premium isn’t working… or is it?

When national results at Key Stage 4 were published last November phrases like "the gap between rich and poor widens" typified headlines in the national press. This was because the gap between the attainment of disadvantaged (often called Pupil Premium) pupils and others in the headline measure of 5A*-C including English and maths had increased [...]

By | March 13th, 2015|Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics|

Getting from B to A (or G to F)

In recent days there has been some discussion about the way grades in current GCSEs will be scored alongside reformed GCSEs when calculating Progress 8 in 2017 and 2018. In 2016, when Progress 8 will be fully introduced into Performance Tables, GCSE grades A*-G will be converted into points on the 1-8 scale. By 2019, [...]

By | March 11th, 2015|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

Why measuring pupil progress involves more than taking a straight line

We have an accountability system that has encouraged schools to check that children are making a certain number of sub-levels of progress each year. This is the basis on which headteachers monitor (and now pay) teachers and on which Ofsted judges schools. Yet there is little hard science underpinning the system in use: take a [...]

We are closing the pupil premium gap – if we look in the right places

This Government has invested enormous amounts of money and political capital in closing the attainment gap between children from low-income families, and everyone else. They give schools a pupil premium for children eligible for free school meals (and some other vulnerable groups) now worth £1300 for primary pupils and £935 for secondary pupils. They gave [...]

By | March 5th, 2015|Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics|

We worry about teachers inflating results; we should worry more about depression of baseline assessments

It's not uncommon to hear schools express a view that the attainment of their intake is systematically over estimated or 'inflated' in some way. Schools are not accusing another of cheating; simply that high stakes accountability pushes teachers to ensure children achieve the best result possible. And where a feeder school outperforms expectations for an [...]

By | March 5th, 2015|Exams and assessment, School accountability|