Long-term disadvantage, part four: Our friends in the north

This is part three in a series of blogposts exploring long-term disadvantage. Other posts in the series can be found here. 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 [...]

By | 2018-02-19T18:37:38+00:00 February 1st, 2018|Pupil demographics, School funding, School improvement|

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|

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|

Provisional KS4 data 2017: A round-up

The EBacc continues to be ignored There was a slight fall in the percentage of pupils entered for all five subjects making up the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). Even so, the percentage entered for the science and humanities components actually increased. The fall in the headline EBacc entry rate was entirely due to a drop in [...]

Provisional KS4 data 2017: Raising the floor

Schools’ provisional Progress 8 scores for 2017 were published today, having already been released to schools over a fortnight ago. This would have been a chastening experience for those falling below the floor standard of -0.5. On the surface, there are more of them this year than last. But is this fair? Changes to GCSE [...]

By | 2017-10-18T18:06:18+00:00 October 12th, 2017|Exams and assessment, School accountability, School improvement|

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 | 2017-11-13T14:36:14+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|School accountability, School improvement|

KS4 performance tables 2016: When coasting feels like paddling hard to keep your head above water

This week, 319 secondary schools have been told that they are coasting and so will become eligible for intervention. This includes a staggeringly high 22.6% of schools in the east Midlands. For those deemed to have insufficient capacity to bring about improvement this could be the start of a long road to forced academisation. And [...]

By | 2017-10-23T13:10:26+00:00 January 19th, 2017|Exams and assessment, School accountability, School improvement|