Thanks to Deputy Head teacher Michael Tidd for this article.

Head teachers will have been frantically logging on to the DfE website today to find out how their schools have done in the new progress measures following this summer’s new KS2 tests – even though many schools still haven’t started the new term yet! It’s left many of us unprepared, and probably many more scrabbling around for the key login details.

Getting your school’s data

Head teachers will have been sent login details for the Tables Checking website, including a password which was sent out by post last week. For schools whose post is held by the Royal Mail over the holidays, that may now mean an anxious wait. There is a helpline and email address on the Tables Checking site for those who can’t hang on for the postman!

Once logged in, you will be able to complete a data checking exercise, as in previous years, to ensure that data is accurate before it goes into the final version of Raise Online. You’ll also be able to see your school’s progress measures for each of the three key subjects: Reading, Writing and Maths. These scores are all-important for the new floor standard – particularly for the majority of schools who did not reach the 65% attainment thresholds.

These figures are simple numbers, roughly in the range of -10 to 10. A score of 0 in any given subject means that children at your school – on average – made the same progress as others of a similar ability nationally in that subject. Positive scores suggest your children did better than the average nationally, and negative scores suggest that progress was not as good as the national average. Importantly, negative scores do not necessarily mean that your school is in trouble.

To ensure that your school is above the floor standard, then you must have either met the attainment threshold already (65% Reading, Writing & Maths combined), or be above all three of the new progress thresholds:

Reading: -5
Writing: -7
Maths -5

Importantly, if you only fall below one of the three measures, then there is a reprieve for those schools whose confidence intervals overlap the key figures.

You can see more detail about this here.

Coasting Standard

By now, head teachers will be aware if their school is at risk of being labelled as ‘coasting’, because it is partly based on 2014 and 2015 results. Schools that are at risk will have a longer wait, unfortunately, as the progress measure for this standard has not yet been released. It is due to be published sometime in the autumn term.

The national picture

Also published today were the national results in more detail. There are a few interesting things to note from this, when looking at your own school’s data.

  • There’s been a flip in attainment: Writing and Grammar used to be the lowest-scoring of the subjects, now they are the highest; Reading has fallen from top position to the weakest of the three subjects nationally – which probably hasn’t come as a surprise to schools!
  • Around a fifth of children achieved a “high score” (110 or GDS) in each subject, but just 5% of children reached a high score in all three key subjects combined (Reading, Writing and Maths).
  • Teacher Assessment results in Reading and Maths were considerably higher than test results. It seems likely that teacher assessment scores in these subjects may dip next year, as teachers use the 2016 tests to guide their judgements.
  • Progress scores of +2 or greater put you in the top 25% of schools for that measure; scores of -2 or lower would be in the bottom 25%.
  • There are some real discrepancies between different local authorities, particularly in Writing outcomes.Education DataLab have produced a blog post this morning showing some of the anomalies, and those authorities which were particularly affected.

What next?

Whatever the results, there are a few things to be done now:

  • Congratulate everyone involved on the achievements of years of hard work!
  • Check that the data in the DfE website is accurate – it is this data that will go into making the Raise Online charts later this term. Data needs to be checked by Friday 16th
  • Work out what it means for this year’s cohort.

One of the tools that may help with this last one, is the Question Level Analysis of the test results. This is already available via the Raise Online website – another password to track down again – and may help schools to spot particularly gaps that can be addressed in teaching this year.

Helpful links:
Primary school accountability document
Key stage 2 national tests data

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