Our research investigates the strengths and weaknesses of different school performance measures and how schools respond to the incentives they create

Are Ofsted’s new short inspection proposals a good idea?

Ofsted yesterday announced its response to the consultation it ran this summer on its short inspections policy. The inspectorate had proposed extending from 48 hours, to 15 days, the window in which a full inspection must take place after a short inspection converts. But it has now opened another consultation [PDF] that proposes that from [...]

By | 2017-09-22T11:12:07+00:00 September 22nd, 2017|School accountability|

Provisional KS2 data 2017: Five key points from today’s release

1. The percentage of pupils achieving the higher standard has increased We already knew that the percentage of pupils achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and maths increased from 53% last year to 61% this year. And today’s release of provisional Key Stage 2 data shows that the percentage reaching the higher standard increased [...]

By | 2017-09-04T11:29:58+00:00 August 31st, 2017|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

GCSE results day 2017: It’s all about the (lack of) money, money, money

In England, the government has been trying to push schools into raising entries in the so-called EBacc subjects through its accountability metrics: the percentage entering and achieving the EBacc, and Progress 8. This is one reason why subject entries have been changing so much in recent years. However, another reason why they are changing is [...]

By | 2017-08-25T13:39:38+00:00 August 24th, 2017|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

Can we compare the A-Level performance of independent schools and state schools?

Last week the TES ran a story based on some research by Tom Richmond [PDF] comparing the A-Level value added scores of independent schools and state schools. In the story, the average value added score for the 10 highest attaining independent schools was given as 0.19, and for the 10 highest attaining non-selective state schools 0.26[1]. [...]

By | 2017-08-14T15:34:46+00:00 August 14th, 2017|Post-16 provision, School accountability|

Measuring two-year retention post-16: what does it show?

Each year, the government of the day publishes performance indicators about schools and colleges. While ostensibly they provide the public (and particularly parents) with information, and so inform choice, they are also a lever to encourage the system to function in the way the government wants. Indicators come and go as governments change. Plans for [...]

By | 2017-08-09T12:17:37+00:00 August 9th, 2017|Post-16 provision, School accountability|

What might EBacc average points scores look like?

Although previous governments used the machinery of performance tables and school accountability to drive improvements in the education system, the Coalition government of 2010 was the first to use it to influence the qualifications that pupils entered at age 16. But for all the rhetoric about the damaging effects on curriculum offer of the English [...]

The correlation between Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 value added

How well do schools’ value added (VA) scores at Key Stage 1 correlate with their value added scores at Key Stage 2? Do schools with high scores on one tend to achieve a high score on the other? Or do schools with low VA scores at KS1 tend to achieve high VA scores at KS2? [...]

By | 2017-08-02T11:57:50+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|School accountability, School improvement|

A short history of Ofsted short inspections

Is it proportionate for schools with a good inspection rating to receive inspections the same in length and scope to those received by schools which had exhibited weaknesses in the recent past? That, in short, was the thinking when new, short inspections for schools with good ratings were introduced by Sir Michael Wilshaw in September [...]

By | 2017-07-13T14:02:42+00:00 July 13th, 2017|School accountability|

Are more pupils really taking arts subjects?

Schools Week last week published a handy summary of Ofqual’s release of summer 2017 examination entry statistics. It notes that entries in EBacc subjects have risen whilst entries in other subjects have fallen. This raises the question of whether the EBacc is crowding other subjects out of the curriculum. In defence of the EBacc, Schools [...]

By | 2017-06-22T08:42:38+00:00 June 23rd, 2017|Exams and assessment, School accountability|