David Bowie sang “And every time I thought I'd got it made, It seemed the taste was not so sweet” (Changes, 1971). He could have been thinking about the changes which will happen over the next few years in government accountability systems – scaled scores at Key Stage 2 in 2016 and reformed GCSEs from [...]
When national results at Key Stage 4 were published last November phrases like "the gap between rich and poor widens" typified headlines in the national press. This was because the gap between the attainment of disadvantaged (often called Pupil Premium) pupils and others in the headline measure of 5A*-C including English and maths had increased [...]
In recent days there has been some discussion about the way grades in current GCSEs will be scored alongside reformed GCSEs when calculating Progress 8 in 2017 and 2018. In 2016, when Progress 8 will be fully introduced into Performance Tables, GCSE grades A*-G will be converted into points on the 1-8 scale. By 2019, [...]
We have an accountability system that has encouraged schools to check that children are making a certain number of sub-levels of progress each year. This is the basis on which headteachers monitor (and now pay) teachers and on which Ofsted judges schools. Yet there is little hard science underpinning the system in use: take a [...]
This Government has invested enormous amounts of money and political capital in closing the attainment gap between children from low-income families, and everyone else. They give schools a pupil premium for children eligible for free school meals (and some other vulnerable groups) now worth £1300 for primary pupils and £935 for secondary pupils. They gave [...]
We worry about teachers inflating results; we should worry more about depression of baseline assessments
It's not uncommon to hear schools express a view that the attainment of their intake is systematically over estimated or 'inflated' in some way. Schools are not accusing another of cheating; simply that high stakes accountability pushes teachers to ensure children achieve the best result possible. And where a feeder school outperforms expectations for an [...]
FFT research paper number five explored how the attainment and the value added scores of children varies by the amount of time which they have been eligible for free school meals. Download the report here [PDF].