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

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|

There is not yet a proven route to help disadvantaged pupils into grammar schools

Sections of the Tory party seem determined to open new grammar schools, or at least to expand provision at existing grammar schools. One condition of grammar expansion is likely to be that they make a greater effort to ensure that children from low income families can secure places. A minority of the existing 163 grammar [...]

By | September 8th, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

At what age should we segregate our children?

Academic selection into separate schools tends to polarise commentators into those that think it is acceptable and those who think it is wrong. And yet most people agree that selection is acceptable at 18 and wrong at age 4. So the point of contention is surely what the right age to allow academic selection is. [...]

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

Changing the subject: why pushing pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to take more academic subjects may not be such a bad thing

Today, Sutton Trust published our report on the 300 secondary schools who transformed their curriculum between 2010 and 2013 in response to government policy, achieving a rise in the proportion of pupils entering the EBacc from 8% to 48%. Understanding the experiences of pupils in these schools gives us a little window on what might [...]

Where have London’s disadvantaged pupils gone?

One of the most interesting figures in Tuesday’s statistical first release on pupils in state-funded schools was the fall in the percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals to the lowest level recorded since the introduction of the School Census in January 2002. Of course, it's well-known that free school meal eligibility is an [...]

By | June 30th, 2016|Pupil demographics|

Who wants to go to university? How attainment affects aspirations (and aspirations affect attainment)

In the past few weeks both CentreForum (in conjunction with our very own Mike Treadaway) and the Social Market Foundation have published reports on education. Both reports discuss gaps in attainment between pupils from different family backgrounds, drawing attention to the importance of education for social mobility. Education is usually seen as an important factor in [...]

By | February 16th, 2016|Post-16 provision, Pupil demographics|