Below is lots of useful information for students preparing to take their exams this year.
A government help sheet to explain the changes to GCSE grades from 2017 can be found here.
What does all of this Data mean?
When measuring a school or college’s effectiveness, you should consider the context of the school, as there may be factors that can help explain its performance.
For example, you should consider:
- the school type, for example a special school (for children with special educational needs or disabilities) may have lower prior attainment than those in a mainstream school
- the pupils’ characteristics, for example how many are eligible for free school meals
You should also consider how the school’s performance compares to local and national results.
While attainment figures tell you about the performance of a school’s pupils at the end of a key stage, it’s important to consider that pupils have varying levels of ability and many different starting points.
Some pupils may seem to be achieving low results, based on their overall attainment at the end of a key stage. However, a pupil’s progress score will take into account their attainment at the end of the previous key stage, and the progress they have made since that point, compared to pupils with similar starting points. When this is taken into account they may in fact be attaining results beyond those of other pupils, from the same starting point.
[Source: Department for Education – School Performance Tables: How to interpret the Data]
What Data is Measured?
From 2016, the Department for Education (DfE) implemented new changes to the ‘Secondary School Accountability System’. The system now includes two new headline measures, Attainment 8 and Progress 8.
- Progress 8 aims to capture the progress a pupil makes from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school. It is a type of value added measure, which means that pupils’ results are compared to the actual achievements of other pupils with the same prior attainment. The performance measures are designed to encourage schools to offer a broad and balanced curriculum with a focus on an academic core at key stage 4. Watch this video for more information.
- Attainment 8 measures the achievement of a pupil across 8 qualifications including mathematics (double weighted) and English (double weighted), 3 further qualifications that count in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) measure and 3 further qualifications that can be GCSE qualifications (including EBacc subjects) or technical awards from the DfE approved list.
[Source: Department for Education – Guidance on Progress 8 and Achievement 8]
You can find out more information about what this data means here.