Our analysis highlights how family background shapes educational achievement and what policy can do to weaken the link

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|

Getting older quicker

At Datalab we write about half a dozen blogposts in a typical month. Some we slave over and others we knock out in a matter of minutes, usually with one eye on the football or Paw Patrol. Being unashamed data wonks, we then pore over Google Analytics to see which of our posts have left [...]

By | March 3rd, 2017|Pupil demographics, School accountability|

What does PISA 2015 tell us about deprivation and highly able children?

There’s long been interest in socio-economic inequalities in educational achievement in England. Typically, most research in this area focuses on differences in average scores. Less attention has been paid to young people at the extremes of the distribution – for instance, how achievement varies between the most able pupils from advantaged and disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. [...]

By | February 9th, 2017|Pupil demographics|

Forget about grammars, we need places for pupils with special educational needs

Two blogposts from the Headteachers’ Roundtable concerning funding and pupils with statements of special educational needs (SEN) or education, health and care plans (EHCP)[1] caught our eye recently. The first, by Jarlath O’Brien, highlighted the projected 15% increase in the number of pupils requiring a place in a special school over the next ten years [...]

By | February 3rd, 2017|Pupil demographics, Structures|

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|

‘Schools that work for everyone’ consultation – Education Datalab response

Education Datalab has today submitted its response to the government’s Schools that work for everyone consultation. The green paper consulted on: the identification of those families who are ‘just about managing’; the contribution which independent schools can make to the state sector; conditions that should be met if existing selective schools are to be allowed [...]

By | December 12th, 2016|Pupil demographics, Reports, Structures|

Social and ethnic inequalities in choice available and choices made at age 16

This morning the Social Mobility Commission published our research examining the choice of courses and institution made by students at age 16. We could see there were differences in the choices made by social background, ethnicity and gender of the student and wanted to measure the extent to which these arose through differences in: GCSE [...]

By | December 5th, 2016|Admissions, Post-16 provision, Pupil demographics, Reports|

Understanding grammar schools

Since the government’s announcement that it wants to see the return of more widespread selectivity to England’s education system we have written quite extensively about grammar schools and the impact of selectivity. In this post, however, we’re going to step back a little and offer a more descriptive overview of the existing network of selective [...]

By | December 1st, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

Apples to apples: are grammar schools really as effective as they seem?

This post was updated at 8.30 AM on 22 November. An earlier draft of the piece had originally been posted in error. What is the reasoning behind the government’s proposal for more selective schools: greater choice or better schools? Numerous studies have demonstrated that both have flawed foundations, including from the Education Policy Institute [PDF] and ourselves [PDF], [...]