Reference: Primary school accountability in 2016 – A technical guide for primary maintained schools, academies and free schools. Department for Education. January 2016
Headline measures of school performance to be published in 2016 are:
- the percentage of pupils achieving the ‘expected standard’ in all three of English reading, English writing and mathematics at the end of key stage 2.
- the pupils’ average scaled scores – separate measures for:
# English reading at the end of key stage 2;
# mathematics at the end of key stage 2.
- the percentage of pupils who achieve at a high standard in all three of English reading, English writing and mathematics.
- the pupils’ average progress from key stage 1 to the end of key stage 2 – separate measures for:
# English reading;
# English writing;
The ‘progress’ measure is designed to enable accountability for the value added by the school. There is no target for the progress an individual pupil is expected to make; rather, the progress of each pupil contributes to a score for the school that is based on the average progress achieved by its pupils. To calculate that score, pupils at the end of key stage 2 are grouped according to their level of attainment at key stage 1. The progress of individual pupils within each of these groups in the school is compared with the average progress of the same group nationally. If the progress of an individual is the same as the national average for his or her group then that pupil’s progress score is zero. If the pupil makes more progress than the national average then the progress score is a positive number. If less, it is a negative number.
To calculate the progress of individuals, each pupil’s attainment at key stage 1 – in each subject – is converted to a point score (using a conversion table provided by the DfE). The subject scores are combined into a key stage 1 average point score in which English and mathematics are given equal weight. Suppose that a pupil’s key stage 1 average point score is 18 and that:
- this pupil’s scaled score at key stage 2 in mathematics is 120; and
- the national average scaled score in mathematics for all pupils in England with an average key stage 1 score of 18 is 117.
Then this pupil has a mathematics progress score of +3.
The school’s progress score for a subject is the average of its pupils’ progress scores in that subject.
- A score of 0 means pupils in this school, on average, do about as well at key stage 2 as those with similar prior attainment nationally.
- A positive score means pupils in this school on average do better at key stage 2 than those with similar prior attainment nationally.
- A negative score means pupils in this school on average do worse at key stage 2 than those with similar prior attainment nationally.
The school’s progress score has upper and lower confidence intervals which reflect the size of the cohort. Confidence intervals for a small cohort tend to be wider than those for a large cohort. They are taken into account when determining whether a school is below the floor standard.
The floor standard is the minimum standard for pupil attainment and/or progress that the Government expects schools to meet. In 2016, a school will be above the floor if:
- at least 65% of pupils meet the expected standard in all three of English reading, English writing and mathematics or
- the school achieves sufficient progress scores in all of English reading and English writing and mathematics.
To be above the floor, the school needs to meet either the attainment or all of the progress element. Because this is the first year of new assessment methods, what constitutes “sufficient progress” will be announced after test results have been analysed.