Our research investigates the strengths and weaknesses of different school performance measures and how schools respond to the incentives they create

Another attempt at a qualification-neutral Progress 8 measure

Progress 8 is the value added measure by which secondary schools are being judged, starting from the last academic year. At Datalab we’re broadly supportive of it as a measure. But no measure of school performance is perfect, and P8 is no exception. It doesn’t account for pupil background, and so favours schools with high percentages [...]

By | January 24th, 2017|School accountability|

Multi-academy trust league tables: What can we learn from the data?

This morning the government published multi-academy trust (MAT) league tables, building on an approach it trialled last year. At a headline level, two thirds of MATs had Progress 8 scores that were below average across the secondary schools which they run [PDF]. But what does the underlying data tell us? In this analysis we’re looking at [...]

By | January 19th, 2017|Exams and assessment, School accountability, Structures|

KS4 performance tables 2016: When coasting feels like paddling hard to keep your head above water

This week, 319 secondary schools have been told that they are coasting and so will become eligible for intervention. This includes a staggeringly high 22.6% of schools in the east Midlands. For those deemed to have insufficient capacity to bring about improvement this could be the start of a long road to forced academisation. And [...]

By | January 19th, 2017|Exams and assessment, School accountability, School improvement|

KS2 performance tables 2016: Primary schools in the North East are pulling away from the pack

A decade ago, the proportion of 11-year-olds reaching expected standards did not vary much across the regions - except for a little place with an unfixable education system called Inner London. The lines in blue on the chart below show that most regions had just over 70% of pupils meeting the expected standard at that [...]

By | December 15th, 2016|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

KS2 performance tables 2016: Do we need value added at Key Stage 2?

Value added data, calculated by a number of different methods over the years, has been a feature of school performance tables since 2003. In principle, the idea is sound. Comparisons of schools’ raw attainment measures often say more about schools’ intakes than they do about the quality of teaching and learning. So if the state [...]

By | December 15th, 2016|Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics, School accountability|

KS2 performance tables 2016: What can we tell about the new floor standards?

Final Key Stage 2 data has been published this morning, with 665 primary schools identified as being below the floor standards, compared to 676 last year. In line with the move to scaled scores, the way floor standards are calculated changed this year. Schools were judged as being below the floor standard if they failed [...]

By | December 15th, 2016|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

Qualification neutral Progress 8

One criticism of the current Progress 8 measure is that the points awarded to some qualifications are more (or less) favourable than to others. There is a risk that any inequality in the way different qualifications are valued incentivises schools to pursue those treated more favourably at the expense of working to improve grades awarded [...]

By | December 7th, 2016|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

The impact of ECDL on Progress 8 scores

We have written previously about how the points awarded to the European Computer Driving Licence in school performance tables appeared to be out-of-kilter with other qualifications, given the grades achieved by ECDL entrants in GCSEs they took. And Data Educator has subsequently written more on the topic. (To give it its full title, we’re talking about [...]

By | November 14th, 2016|Exams and assessment, School accountability|