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

What PISA tells us about pupils from ordinary working families

Last week, we heard a lot from the government about their interest in children from ‘ordinary working families’. (For our initial take on the topic, see here and here.) In its new consultation document, the Department for Education has provided information on the GCSE grades and progress of these children – defined as those not [...]

By | April 20th, 2017|Admissions, Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics|

‘Ordinary working families’ won’t get access to grammar schools – and government data confirms as much

The new government consultation on ‘ordinary working families’ is being used as the latest piece of arsenal to shore up support for grammar schools among the general public (the majority of whose children will, of course, get to attend secondary moderns). From it they conclude that the children of ordinary working families stand a good [...]

By | April 12th, 2017|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

‘Ordinary working families’ are not educationally disadvantaged – those claiming benefits are

The Department for Education has published a consultation document on family incomes, pupil attainment and school attended that will either fascinate (if you are a data cruncher) or terrify you (if you are a privacy campaigner). For the first time, the records of pupils sitting in the National Pupil Database have been matched to parental [...]

By | April 12th, 2017|Admissions, Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics|

What difference does a year make? Part 2

This is part two in a series of posts exploring trends in attainment over time by month of birth. Other posts in the series can be found here. In the first part in this series we looked at how attainment at age seven – Key Stage 1 – varied with pupils’ month of birth. Overall, [...]

By | March 30th, 2017|Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics|

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|

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|