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

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|

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|

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|

KS2 performance tables 2017: Ofsted ratings and floor standards

We’ve already looked at the number of schools judged to be below the floor standard, and to be coasting, based on the Key Stage 2 performance tables data published this morning. But, looking a little deeper, how stable are these classifications – how many schools that ended up in one of these groups last year [...]

By | 2018-02-01T11:17:07+00:00 December 14th, 2017|School accountability|

KS2 performance tables 2017: The reason schools ended up below the floor standard this year

Key Stage 2 league tables – performance tables, to use their proper name – have been published this morning, identifying those schools below the government’s floor standard, and those judged to be coasting. So what can we say about the schools in these two groups? And are junior schools still more likely to fall into [...]

By | 2018-02-01T11:17:17+00:00 December 14th, 2017|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

KS2 performance tables 2017: Three things from this morning’s data

Today’s Key Stage 2 Statistical First Release provides further information on the 2017 Key Stage 2 results which we first wrote about here. This includes school-level data, plus data on the performance of different groups of pupils. There are some interesting differences in progress scores between ethnic groups There is much greater variation in the [...]

By | 2017-12-15T15:17:14+00:00 December 14th, 2017|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

Test reliability, and why it matters for primary school performance tables

This year’s Key Stage 2 performance tables will be published tomorrow, summarising the attainment of pupils in KS2 tests in reading, maths, and grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS). But how reliable are these tests, and what does this mean for published performance indicators? Getting the right balance A well-designed test should give a pupil the [...]

By | 2017-12-20T13:24:04+00:00 December 13th, 2017|Exams and assessment, School accountability, School improvement|

Provisional KS4 data 2017: Has your Progress 8 score improved?

I’m not normally inclined to say “I told you so” but, in this case, it might be justified. Back in 2015, when the Department for Education announced the scores for old style GCSEs in 2017, Dave Thomson and I did some calculations to look at 'what if' the DfE 2016 and 2017 scoring systems were applied [...]

By | 2017-10-18T18:05:40+00:00 October 12th, 2017|Exams and assessment, School accountability, School improvement|