Liz Kendall is (almost) right There are enormous differences in children’s school starting points by parliamentary constituency

When MPs quote education statistics, I’m always curious where they got them from and whether they are accurate. Last week, Labour leadership contender Liz Kendall made a speech in Leicester where she mentioned that in Leicester West, ‘children start school on average 15 months behind where they should be in terms of their development’. We [...]

By | 2017-03-03T09:45:28+00:00 May 31st, 2015|Pupil demographics|

We cannot compare the effectiveness of schools with different types of intakes

Our accountability systems – Ofsted and performance tables – require us to place all schools on a line from the very best to the very worst. Every few years we change how this line is drawn. Every time the line is redrawn, headteachers declare the performance metric to be unfair. There is no magical formula [...]

By | 2017-03-03T09:45:20+00:00 May 18th, 2015|School accountability|

Are you a teacher interested in data? Come and spend some time with us learning how researchers evaluate schools

There is a small community of people with both experience of our schools and the skills to analyse large scale datasets. We would love to make this community bigger. This summer (starting 3rd August) we are hosting paid[1] interns who have experience of teaching or working with schools to learn how to use the large-scale [...]

By | 2017-03-03T09:45:11+00:00 May 11th, 2015|News|

Does the likelihood of experiencing poverty change as pupils get older?

Eligibility for free school meals (FSM) has traditionally been used in education research as a proxy for poverty. It has its limitations of course: not all those who may be eligible choose to claim for a variety of reasons. Nonetheless, differences in attainment between those known to be eligible and other pupils are stark. As [...]

By | 2017-03-03T09:45:05+00:00 May 5th, 2015|Pupil demographics|

Why do pupils at schools with the most able intakes tend to make the most progress?

In a previous blog, we noted that Grammar schools tended to achieve above average Progress 8 scores based on 2014 data. At first glance, this is a worrying finding. Progress 8 is supposed to offer a fairer basis for comparing schools than measures of raw attainment. Moreover, this effect is not limited to Grammar Schools. [...]

By | 2017-10-23T13:16:47+00:00 May 5th, 2015|School accountability|

The hocus pocus of Progress 8

There are infinite different ways to judge whether pupils at a school achieved more or less than they might have if placed at another school chosen at random. Tom Sherrington has chosen to criticise one – Progress 8 – in his blog and propose another – a comparison of the distribution of attainment by intake and [...]

By | 2017-03-03T09:44:48+00:00 May 5th, 2015|School accountability|