Our friends in the north

Some of you might remember the 1996 TV series in which Christopher Ecclestone plays Nicky Hutchinson. As an impatient politician he argues that “Tomorrow is too late”. The Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) has today issued a report on education in the north of England that in some ways makes this point, especially in relation to [...]

By | 2018-02-05T12:32:03+00:00 February 1st, 2018|Pupil demographics, School funding, School improvement|

Why is the performance of MATs so extreme?

Answer: It isn’t. So why ask the question? Well, among the glut of statistics published by the Department for Education on Thursday was a statistical first release on the performance of multi-academy trusts (MATs) [PDF]. At the top of the second page was this curious chart. At first glance, this looks rather alarming. It seems to [...]

By | 2018-02-02T09:09:22+00:00 January 28th, 2018|Exams and assessment, School accountability, Structures|

Is PISA still a fair basis for comparison? Some serious questions have emerged

A version of this blogpost also appears on the Centre for Education Economics website. The OECD's PISA study compares the science, reading and mathematics skills of 15-year-olds across countries, with the results closely watched by journalists, public policymakers and the general public from across the world. Conducted every three years, particular attention is now being [...]

By | 2018-02-02T09:08:58+00:00 January 26th, 2018|International studies|

Key Stage 4 performance tables 2017: Closing the gap just got harder

Today’s Key Stage 4 statistical release from the Department for Education shows the gap between disadvantaged pupils and others to be narrowing slightly [PDF]. This is based on the DfE's gap index, which is calculated by ranking pupils according to their English and mathematics grades and then calculating an overall index. It would appear to be [...]

By | 2018-02-02T09:08:46+00:00 January 25th, 2018|Exams and assessment, School accountability, School improvement|

Multi-academy trust league tables 2017: What can we learn from the data? Including a lesson on why we shouldn’t take everything at face value

Along with Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 league tables, the Department for Education has this morning published multi-academy trust league tables – the second year it has published these in full. This analysis looks purely the DfE’s Key Stage 4 MAT league tables, focusing on those trusts with more than five secondary schools [...]

By | 2018-02-02T09:08:32+00:00 January 25th, 2018|School accountability, Structures|

Key Stage 5 performance tables 2017: Do minimum standards meet the standard?

Minimum performance standards for 16-18 Level 3 (A-Level and equivalent) attainment were first introduced in 2016. Separate standards were defined for academic qualifications (primarily A-Levels) and applied general qualifications (primarily BTECs)[1]. The standards are based on value added measures that control for pupil attainment at Key Stage 4. For academic qualifications, the minimum standard in [...]

By | 2018-02-02T09:08:25+00:00 January 25th, 2018|Post-16 provision|

KS4 performance tables 2017: Everything we know about coasting schools and floor standard schools

The first table in this post was updated at 17.42 on 25 January 2018 after we noticed – of all things – that percentages in the table did not add up to 100. We very much regret the error. Key Stage 4 league tables – performance tables, to use their proper name – have been published this [...]

By | 2018-02-02T09:08:18+00:00 January 25th, 2018|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

What is the National Pupil Database?

Many of the blogposts and reports that we produce here at Datalab are based on analysis of the Department for Education’s National Pupil Database (NPD). But what is it? What is the NPD? The NPD is a collection of data relating to education in England compiled by the Department for Education. The NPD is made [...]

By | 2018-02-05T12:39:57+00:00 January 23rd, 2018|News|

Explore England’s changing free school meals rates

Most of the time our work involves using the National Pupil Database to examine particular aspects of the education system. However, it can also throw up interesting insights into the state of the nation more generally. Last year, we wrote about how the percentage of pupils eligible for and claiming free school meals (FSM) had [...]

By | 2017-12-19T17:20:34+00:00 December 18th, 2017|Pupil demographics|