We explore the potential of innovative classroom assessment methods, as well as the impact of major exam reforms

What difference does a year make? Part 1

This is part one in a series of posts exploring trends in attainment over time by month of birth. Other posts in the series can be found here. Dave Thomson’s recent blogpost about how attainment varies by month of birth reminded me of one of the reasons I first got interested in looking at the impact [...]

By | March 15th, 2017|Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics|

Putting Progress 8 in context

We thought we’d run out of things to say about Progress 8 but a couple of blogposts from Tom Sherrington and Jim Gordon last week made us realise that we hadn’t. Both examine, among other things, how Progress 8 scores vary by pupil and school characteristics. (Progress 8 is the headline value added measure by which [...]

By | March 2nd, 2017|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

The equivalence of A-Levels and BTECs

* Updated 3rd April 2017 following helpful feedback from UCAS* Last week, the Higher Education Policy Institute published a report on BTECs and university admissions [PDF]. It recognised that much of the increase in the proportion of young people achieving Level 3 – A-Levels or equivalents – by age 19 (see Table 3 here, XLSX) [...]

By | February 28th, 2017|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision|

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|

Education Datalab’s view on primary assessment

We recently submitted evidence to the Education Select Committee, as part of their inquiry into primary assessment. What follows is the text of our submission. A PDF copy of the submission can be found here. The role of statutory assessment in primary schools Assessment plays numerous roles in primary education. Statutory assessment should, as a minimum, ensure [...]

By | December 13th, 2016|Exams and assessment|