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

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], [...]

Pupil moves to the independent sector: why are there more late moves in some areas than others?

We have previously examined the extent to which pupils leave the roll of state-funded mainstream secondary schools. In this post, we look at one of the destinations of pupils who leave the roll of a state-funded mainstream school: the independent sector. (Today Ofsted has spoken out about unregistered alternative provision. To be clear, all of [...]

By | November 8th, 2016|Pupil demographics, School accountability|

Ethnic minority groups are great at passing the 11-plus

There are striking differences in the propensity of different ethnic groups to gain access to grammar schools. If we look at high achieving eleven-year-olds in the four fully selective local authorities of Kent, Medway, Buckinghamshire and Lincolnshire, just 29 per cent of the white British pupils who achieved a fine grade score of 5.0 on [...]

By | November 7th, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

When is a comprehensive school actually a secondary modern?

The National Association of Secondary Moderns might soon be growing its membership. By how much? It is hard to say, not least because not all non-grammar schools in selective areas choose to call themselves secondary moderns (just 117 do). Also, there are schools outside selective areas that are heavily affected by the presence of a [...]

By | November 2nd, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

The greatest challenge

The starkest figure published in last week’s Key Stage 4 statistical first release (SFR) was the Progress 8 score for Knowsley, a small unitary authority in Merseyside. Pupils attending its six secondary schools achieved on average almost a grade per subject lower than pupils with similar prior attainment elsewhere in the country. All six schools [...]

By | October 18th, 2016|Pupil demographics, School accountability, School improvement|

Provisional KS4 data 2016: What can we learn from destinations data?

Alongside the publication this morning of data covering EBacc entries and Attainment 8/Progress 8, a statistical first release (SFR) has been published on the destinations of the 2014/15 Key Stage 4 cohort. This shows that 91 per cent were in a “sustained education destination” during the first two terms of 2015/16, and 94 per cent [...]

By | October 13th, 2016|Post-16 provision, Pupil demographics, School accountability|

How many poor children do we want to go to grammar school?

The question of who will get in lies at the heart of the debate about the new generation of grammar schools that the government has proposed. As we, and plenty of others, have pointed out, children eligible for free school meals (FSM) - a commonly-used proxy for disadvantage - are disproportionately unlikely to get into [...]

By | September 30th, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

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|