July 2016

The know zone

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  • Progress report
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  • Ask a silly question...
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  • Moving on up...
    What are the key things that you think should be in place to ensure that pupils are ready to start secondary school? How do you help your new pupils to settle in? Is your school doing something innovative to help the transition go smoothly? Here, ASCL members share their views… More
  • Decoding the data
    Are you ready for Progress 8? David Blow looks at what this major change to accountability will mean… More
  • Building a generation of lifesavers
  • Planning for Maths and English November GCSE resits
    A student who has a grade D or below in both GCSE maths and English will need to be enrolled on a GCSE in both subjects in each academic year and is required to continue to study both of these until they achieve at least a grade C in the current GCSE or a grade 4 in the new GCSE. More
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Are you ready for Progress 8? David Blow looks at what this major change to accountability will mean…

Decoding the data

June 2016 will be the first year that Progress 8 takes effect for school accountability, along with other headline measures. This is a major step forward as it means that the results of every child at every grade in several subjects will count rather than just a few around the threshold, and it also takes their prior attainment into account.

But as with any change, it is important to understand the detail and be prepared. Here are a mixture of questions (some are prompts):

  1. Will you know your Progress 8 score on 25 August?
  2. What will you be reporting to parents and the press on 25 August?
  3. What difference will the change from percentage of 5 A*–C including English and maths to percentage A*–C English and maths make to you?
  4. If your entries and results stay the same in June 2016 as June 2015, with a similar cohort prior attainment profile, what will happen to your Progress 8 score?
  5. Have you downloaded your Progress 8 data for 2015 and do you understand your school’s results?
  6. Do you think that the overall percentage expected levels of progress for a school is a value-added/progress measure?

ASCL has liaised closely with the DfE from the beginning of the discussions about Progress 8. We have worked to ensure that, whatever views there may be about the formulation of Progress 8, the supporting documentation from the DfE and ASCL is consistent and that the results for 2014 and 2015 were made available.

In particular, it was important to emphasise that Progress 8 is a relative measure, calculated each year on the basis of the actual results of all of the pupils taking exams at the end of Key Stage 4 that year. Therefore, nobody knows in advance of analysis on national results in August what the national average will be, and consequently the answer to question 1 is no.

On the other hand, you will be able to calculate your Attainment 8 score and convert it to an average grade, which will be one of the new accountability measures (as will %A*-C En+Ma – Q.3).

Regarding question 4, the upper graph on the right shows that there are big differences between the EBacc3 and Other 3 ‘buckets’ (or elements), in 2014 and 2015. We know that most schools have changed their curriculum and exam entry policy for the current Year 11 so that the majority of pupils are taking three EBacc subjects. As a result, we are expecting the number of slots filled to increase dramatically in June 2016 with a concomitant rise in the national average score.

So if you are not changing your entry policy (and results are the same) then it is likely that your EBacc3 score will drop.

David has produced an information paper that provides more details and answers to the questions he talks about in this article. You can download it from the ASCL website at http://tinyurl.com/gm7r7h3

Getting to Grips with Accountability Measures: Leadership of Data autumn conferences 2016

David Blow is delivering a keynote speech at our Leadership of Data autumn conferences in September.These popular conferences, aimed at members of the senior leadership team and data managers, seek to explore the challenges facing school leaders as they respond to the ever more sophisticated range of data available to schools.Ofsted, the DfE and local authorities often base judgements about schools on the messages that they derive from these data systems.For more details and to book your place, go to http://tinyurl.com/h269unc

David Blow is Head of The Ashcombe School in Surrey.

For a full list of courses and events visit www.ascl.org.uk/pd