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

Provisional KS4 data 2016: Grammar schools reporting fantastic Progress 8 scores? Not so fast…

Today’s provisional Key Stage 4 data shows a strong Progress 8 performance from grammar schools, and a negative Progress 8 score for those calling themselves secondary moderns. But the positive results of the grammars seem to more than outweigh the negative results of secondary moderns. So, should we use this data to claim that selection [...]

By | October 13th, 2016|Exams and assessment, School accountability, Structures|

Provisional KS4 data 2016: Superstars and under the bars

Today will be a day of celebration for some schools, and concern for others, as the new Progress 8 performance measure re-sorts schools into piles. Some who did very well on the old 5 A*-C measure will find they are struggling under a progress measure that does not reward them simply for recruiting a high [...]

By | October 13th, 2016|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

Provisional KS4 data 2016: Low take-up of languages will make the government’s 90% EBacc goal hard to achieve

This is the seventh year that English Baccalaureate (EBacc) data has been published. It was first launched in January 2011 when retrospectively applied to 2010 Key Stage 4 data. Since then, much has been written about its impact on take-up of creative subjects, its suitability for less academically-gifted pupils, and even whether it risks failing [...]

By | October 13th, 2016|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

Why do pupils with lower prior attainment do better in English than maths at GCSE?

This post was updated at 14:40 on 27 September 2016 to clarify the impact of Attainment 8 calculations generally being based on the better of a child's grades in English literature and English language. We were asked on Twitter why we thought the 2016 Attainment 8 estimates for English were so much higher than for [...]

By | September 27th, 2016|Exams and assessment|

What Progress 8 tells us about how the curriculum has changed in schools

Secondary schools today received provisional Progress 8 data for 2016. This is a significant milestone given the importance attached to Progress 8 in the secondary school accountability framework. The rest of us will have to wait until provisional data is published in October. In the meantime DfE has published some very useful technical information that [...]

By | September 26th, 2016|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

Getting started with FFT data for KS2

School leaders are used to dealing with change, not least when it comes to assessment data, but this year is in a league of its own. With changes to all the tests, teacher assessment, scaled scores and accountability measures, headteachers would be forgiven for despairing of any attempt to make sense of it. Even when [...]

How did this year’s Key Stage 2 reading test compare to last year’s?

So now we know. The new Key Stage 2 tests in reading and maths were harder than their predecessors. And there was also substantial variation in writing teacher assessment between local authorities. In this post we examine which pupils met the expected standards in 2016, and how that compares to 2015. We also look at [...]

By | September 19th, 2016|Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics, School accountability|

Consistency in Key Stage 2 writing across local authorities appears to be poor

The new Key Stage 2 tests measure quite different aspects of pupil attainment to the 2015 ones. Schools will differ in how well they have prepared for these new tests and here we explore the extent to which there are local authority differences in success rates across the new and old tests. The chart below [...]

By | September 1st, 2016|Exams and assessment|

GCSE results day 2016: Entry numbers and A*-C pass rates by subject

Entries in most EBacc subjects increased... Although there was a small reduction in the number of 16 year olds in the UK in 2016 compared to 2015, entries in most EBacc subjects increased. Entries in core and additional science increased by the greatest margin as schools continue to switch pupils out of the BTEC science [...]

By | August 26th, 2016|Exams and assessment|