The DfE published their Reception Baseline validity report on 26th February. For those of you that did not participate in the pilot, this document provides some useful information on the structure and content of the Baseline assessment, along with information on how it is to be administered.
It also summarises the findings of a review of the pilot exercise; this does allay some of the fears that I had about the new assessment, however it doesn't really address some of the fundamental worries I have:
Of course, by the time we get to 2027, we will almost certainly have a new Education Secretary, (and probably a different government altogether) so it will be easy for whoever is in charge to blame the previous administration for implementing such a ridiculous idea - and to replace it with something else!
Latest DfE statement (November 2019):
"We are currently working on the methodology for calculating the 2020 KS1-KS2 progress measures. We will be carrying out development work, testing and engaging with schools and stakeholders over the coming months. We plan to say more about any potential changes to the methodology by Spring 2020.
Although the input at KS1 is different, we are trying to keep the methodology as similar to previous years as possible to ensure the measures don't feel drastically different for schools. The exact progress methodology cannot be confirmed till September 2020 as we need to have the summer 2020 results before confirming the best way to calculate primary progress measures."
My best guess as to what will eventually happen:
• The DfE could adapt the current system and create a new set of prior attainment groups (PAGs) based on the new assessment categories.
• The 'old' PAGs were based on KS1 point scores, but it would be possible to create new PAGS representing all the different combinations of KS1 outcomes under the new framework.
Individual children’s scaled scores could still be compared against the national average of the scaled scores in the PAG to which they belong, and a ‘Value Added’ score calculated.
The individual Value Added scores could then be averaged across the year group to get a whole school figure, as before.
The PAG containing all children who achieved EXS in all three subjects will be
HUGE!! About 50% of children nationally achieved EXS in R,W,M, individually.
No specific national figures for the proportion of children achieving EXS in R,W & M, but a conservative estimate would be 30%.
All children in the same PAG are treated as if they are exactly the same (in terms of prior attainment, and have the same potential to achieve by the end of KS2. In reality, there will be a huge range of abilities within the central PAG.
The IDSRs have been published, and are available for download now - it's a bit strange that there was no official email to alert us, but there you go.
Once you've logged into ASP, click on the 'All Reports' menu item, then 'Ofsted inspection data summary reports'. In this section you will see a new link - 'Visit the Ofsted IDSR service' - click on this and your 2019 IDSR should open up in a new tab.
I've seen a few IDSRs already, and they all have quite a lot of 'grey' text throughout. This is not a problem! It means that your figures are not significantly different to national performance.
09/07/19 KS2 National Results published
National results have just been published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-assessments-key-stage-2-2019-interim/national-curriculum-assessments-at-key-stage-2-in-england-2019-interim
65% of pupils reached the expected standard in all of reading, writing and maths (combined) in 2019, up from 64% in 2018. Nice to see that the national figure has finally got above Floor Standard, now that Floor Standards have been scrapped 😊
In Reading, 73% of pupils reached the expected standard in 2019, down by 2 percentage points from 2018. VERY INTERESTING!!
In Maths, 79% of pupils reached the expected standard, up by 3 percentage points from 2018. ALSO VERY INTERESTING!!
In Writing TA, 78% of pupils reached the expected standard in 2019, unchanged from 2018.
In GPS, 78% of pupils reached the expected standard, unchanged from 2018.
The average scaled score in reading is 104, down from 105 in 2018. The average scaled score in maths is 105, up from 104. The average scaled score in GPS is unchanged at 106.
Nothing on higher standards yet as they haven’t published the thresholds. These weren’t published until August last year, but I’d be surprised if they change from 110.
04/03/19 Thoughts on the Reception Baseline Assessment Framework
Last week, the DfE published their framework for the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA). The relevant documents can be downloaded here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reception-baseline-assessment-framework?utm_source=93982492-0f04-4c48-9a12-1016eb0046ef&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate. There’s also a lovely video for you to watch. Here’s a few observations from me:
04/02/19 ASP & FFTAspire Updates.
ASP now has Absence and EYFSP data for 2018. Your IDSR may now include additional ‘Areas to Investigate’ statements for these areas. If you would like me to update your Autumn Analysis Report with absence and EYFSP data, please send me new copies of your School Performance Summary and IDSR.
FFTAspire has been updated with revised 2018 data and estimates have also been updated, based on the most recent national progress data. However, there are still no estimates in the system for current Year 1. It also appears that the system still hasn’t been updated with the Autumn census data, because schools I’ve worked with over the last few days have said that there are children appearing in the target setting section who left a while ago. If you haven’t set up the ‘Data Exchange’ feature in Aspire yet, I would recommend doing so as it’s quite easy and will update the pupil lists in FFTAspire on a daily basis, from your SIMS system.
07/01/19 - Ofsted to no longer look at internal progress data
Now that we’ve had all of the big data releases and the performance tables have been published, we should be entering a bit of a quieter phase in the data world. I will, however, be keeping an eye on the DFE and Ofsted publications and will do my best to alert you to anything they might sneak out while they think no one’s looking. One thing that caught my eye right at the end of term was this video that Ofsted released (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcrp5N6c334). Ostensibly, it addresses their new approach to considering ‘Data in the context of the curriculum’; however, the big bombshell was that they are proposing that from September 2019 “inspectors will not look at schools’ internal progress and attainment data”. Their official justification for this is that it will allow them to spend more time gathering first hand evidence of pupil progress by observing lessons and looking at books etc, but it is also probably an admission that they simply don’t have the time/skills/energy to understand and evaluate the bewildering array of different systems which schools now employ to monitor the progress of their children. They have, however, also said that they will continue to look at ‘historic, published performance data’, so I think we do still need to be evaluating previous years’ performance in order to get an idea of what inspectors will be wanting to look at when they come to school.
So, if Ofsted aren’t going to be looking at your internal tracking data, there is even more of an incentive for you to review what you are collecting and analysing – and to question whether it is useful and what it is telling you. How about a New Year’s Data Resolution: Keep it simple, cut out the unnecessary and time-consuming, and only do it if it is going to contribute to improved pupil outcomes!
26/10/18 - IDSR Published
About blummin' time too!
24/10/18 - KS2 data in ASP
At about 5pm last night, the ASP system was updated with KS2 data for 2018. However, there’s still no data for other key stages and there’s no mention of the IDSR report (which wasn’t produced until early November last year).
03/10/18 - October round-up
We’re already one month into this exceptionally long autumn term, so it must be time for another summary of what’s been going on (or not) in the data world.
Only 24 more sleeps until half-term!
04/09/18 - Back to school...
Let’s start with what’s happened in the days and weeks before the start of term:
Now, on to this morning’s publications:
That’s all for now!
23/07/18 - End of year round-up
Hello everyone, I think some of you have already broken up already, while others have got training days this week and some are seeing it through to the bitter end on Wednesday - whenever you get to go on your holidays, I hope you have a great time!
I’m well under way with report-writing and all of the Version 1 reports should be sent out by the end of July (apart from the schools that have already had a September delivery agreed). It looks like I will be spending most of my long, hot summer sat in front of a computer screen!
As mentioned in a previous email, there are unofficial KS2 progress figures available already in Perspective Lite. When I started looking at these and comparing them with previous years’ data I noticed that the Confidence Intervals associated with the average progress scores were about twice as large as usual. I queried this with the LA, who took it up with Angel Solutions and it turned out they had made an error somewhere along the line and they have re-generated all the analyses and there are new versions to download. So, if you downloaded any progress figures for your school before about midday on 20th July, you might want to get a fresh copy – or you can just wait until you get my report.
You probably won’t be in the mood for this at the moment, but both the DfE and FFT have sent emails recently, warning us that the login procedures for their online systems are changing. For FFTAspire, you probably won’t notice any changes unless you log in as an administrator, and hopefully the changes will make this system simpler as there will only be one site to log in to - more details are coming soon, apparently. For ASP, it’s more complicated of course. They are moving access to this system from ‘Secure Access’ to ‘DfE Sign-in’ (I think it’s just more rationalisation of systems in an attempt to cut costs). So, next time you try to log in to ASP via Secure Access, you will be taken through a series of steps to move your account details over to DfE Sign-in. I’ve done it once and it went OK, but I would advise you to do it as soon as possible, when you’ve got a few spare minutes, rather than in the autumn term when everyone is trying to download their new data and the helpdesk is in meltdown. Another reason to log into ASP soon will be to get hold of your Question Level Analysis for the 2018 tests – this should be available as soon as early August! Finally, it seems as though the DfE have been pushing the boundaries of irony by sending out dozens of emails about reducing workload. As far as I can tell, it’s not actually necessary to read all of this stuff, because there’s a handy toolkit here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/workload-reduction-toolkit . However, the irony reaches comical levels when you see that the toolkit includes a template which will help you to undertake an audit of your current data collection activities. My advice is just to use your common sense - and every time you record, collect or analyse any data about your children, ask yourself: ‘How will this help to improve outcomes for our children?’. If it takes you more than a few seconds to come up with an answer, then it might be time to stop doing it.
All the best for the summer!
11/07/18 Special Consideration at KS2
This issue popped up on twitter late last night. I must admit it’s not something I’ve come across before in terms of it having an effect on schools’ results, but it looks like it may do this year.
Here’s the link to the official DfE guidance (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/key-stage-2-tests-special-consideration-guidance/key-stage-2-tests-special-consideration-guidance) , but the fundamentals are as follows:
Schools were able to apply for ‘special consideration’ for individual pupils in the week after SATs were undertaken.
The circumstances which make a child eligible for special consideration are described in the guidance, but it’s basically there for children who have experienced distressing events in the run up to or during SATS week.
If you have made an application for special consideration and it has been accepted, you will see a ‘+’ sign next to the child’s name on the NCA Tools results spreadsheet. This means that in the final performance tables results, the child’s scaled score will be increased by 3 points. This will certainly affect their progress score and may affect their overall attainment result if they are, for example, within 3 scaled score points of achieving the expected standard. It will also have an effect on your overall school progress score, your average scaled score and potentially the percentage of children achieving the expected or higher standards.
11/07/18 Where to get an idea of your KS2 progress figures
A number of schools have asked me if there’s anywhere they can get hold of progress figures. If the same thing happens as last year, you should receive progress figures based on provisional data, from the DfE, as part of the Tables Checking Exercise at the end of August / beginning of September. However, there are some unofficial sources which you could look at before then.
Jamie Pembroke has produced a ‘VA calculator’ spreadsheet which can be downloaded from here http://sigplus.blogspot.com/2018/07/va-calculator-excel-version-free-to.html (please follow the instructions for downloading the file carefully!). If you use this spreadsheet, you will need to type in the results of the children from the NCA spreadsheet and it will calculate individual progress scores and also provide whole school progress scores. PLEASE NOTE: this spreadsheet calculates progress against the 2017 methodology and national progress rates. The 2018 figures WILL be different, so this is just to give you an idea of progress.
Last night I spotted that there are progress analyses currently available on Perspective Lite! Last year, these were made available to schools in error and were taken off the system as soon as I asked the site administrators about them. They’ve appeared again this year; I don’t know if this is another error or whether it is intentional, but if you do want to have a look at yours, I suggest you log into Perspective Lite as soon as possible and download them (and keep this information to yourselves or they may disappear again!!). To access these reports, Log in to Perspective Lite, then click on ‘LA’ on the menu ribbon. Then click on the ‘Reports’ icon. A screen showing all available reports will appear, scroll down the screen until you see ‘KS2 Progress Pupil List (KEYPAS)’ and ‘KS” Progress School List (KEYPAS)’. Run both of these reports. The first will give you individual progress scores, the second will give you whole school progress scores. The whole school report is potentially confusing as it shows all positive progress scores in green and all negative scores in red, which might lead you to think they are significantly above or below average. This is not the case. Any score that is significant has an additional + or – next to it. These reports can be exported to pdf or excel. Again, the figures in these reports should be treated with caution and only as a guide. I’ve no idea how they’ve been calculated as there’s no technical documentation with them. If they are still available when I write the Early Analysis reports I’ll use these figures, with a health warning.
If you do use either of these sources of information to get an idea of your progress, I would strongly advise that they are only used for internal reporting and not published on the school website, or on social media, or reported to parents!
10/07/18 2018 KS2 National Results released
Here they are.. assuming they are correct!
64% of pupils reached the expected standard in all of reading, writing and maths in 2018. Up 3%pts on last year, but still below floor standard – good job they are scrapping it!
In writing TA, the proportion of pupils who reached the expected standard in 2018 is 78%. Up 2%pts on last yearIn reading, 75% of pupils reached the expected standard in 2018, up by 4 percentage points
In maths, 76% of pupils reached the expected standard, up by 1 percentage point.In GPS, 78% of pupils reached the expected standard, up by 1 percentage point.The average scaled score in reading has increased to 105, compared to 104 in 2017. The average scaled score remains the same in maths and GPS, at 104 and 106 respectively.
No details on high scores / greater depth…
Here’s the link to the relevant page on the DfE websitehttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-assessments-key-stage-2-2018-interim/key-stage-2-2018-interim-results-text
16/04/18 - The 'tracking' debate continues, 'machine learning' and the Reception Baseline Assessment. Just another quiet Easter break...
There has been a flurry of data-related announcements and news stories over the last couple of weeks, here’s a summary of those that have caught my eye:
Ofsted expectations around ‘tracking’ in foundation subjects. This issue reared its head last year, with rumours circulating that Ofsted were expecting schools to track children’s progress in the same way that they track progress in reading, writing and maths. I thought that this ‘myth’ had been scotched by official confirmation from Ofsted that schools should track pupils’ progress in whatever way they feel is best and that schools should not be wasting time collecting and analysing unnecessary data. However, it would appear that this official message from Ofsted may not have been understood by all inspectors: a number of recent inspections, including those of some Leeds schools have included recommendations that schools should develop “systems to assess and track the progress of pupils in subject-specific skills”. Clare Sealy (an influential London headteacher) has written a very useful blog on this subject, which generated a lot of discussion on social media and which prompted Sean Harford (Ofsted National Director) to tweet that schools should not misinterpret these recommendations as a directive to start filling in more spreadsheets and databases: “ ‘Track’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘use data’… as a teacher I might track the progress of pupils through the curriculum by reviewing their books and other work, for example, then draw conclusions about what I need to re-teach ”. So, if you get ‘the visit’ and your inspector starts telling you that you should be collecting data in a specific format or for specific groups / subjects, then it might be worth referring them to the official advice from their boss!
Timing of inspections to be informed by ‘Supervised Machine Learning’. Just before we broke up for Easter, Ofsted published a ‘methodology note’ which confirmed that their risk assessment process for identifying which schools to prioritise for inspection (from summer term 2018) will be informed by ‘supervised machine learning’. Until now, the methodology has used pre-determined data thresholds to identify schools, but this new approach sees a range of historic performance data used to predict the ‘probability of a forthcoming inspection being less than good’. This does seem to clash with Ofsted’s protestations that inspections are not ‘data driven’, because it implies a clear link between performance data and inspection outcomes. However, they are very keen to emphasise that “this algorithm is only used as stage 1 of the risk assessment process” and that “in no way do the algorithm results impact on inspection judgements”!
Short inspection timeframes amended. It looks as though all annual leave at Ofsted Head Office was cancelled over Easter, because as well as playing with artificial intelligence, they have also published updates to the Section 8 and Section 5 inspection handbooks. The headline news from these updates is that they are extending the usual timeframe within which good schools receive a short inspection, from approximately 3 to 4 years. The maximum period in which they would return remains the statutory 5 years from the end of the academic year of the previous inspection. They have also changed the re-inspection window, so that all schools judged to be less than good will be re-inspected within 30 months, irrespective of whether they are ‘requires improvement’, ‘serious weaknesses’ or ‘special measures’. In his blog, Sean Harford admits that these changes are at least partly driven by the need for Ofsted to “do better with less” and to meet “the challenge of reduced resources”. These changes come in to immediate effect, from the start of this term.
Reception baseline assessment guidance published. The DfE and STA have, in the last few days, published more information on the roll-out of the ‘RBA’. The ‘preferred supplier’ of the assessment has been confirmed as NfER (which is no surprise since they were the only company left that was still willing to take it on) and the national roll-out schedule has been confirmed as September 2020, with a large scale voluntary pilot in September 2019. This means that the earliest date which KS1 assessments will become non-statutory is the academic year 2023-24 and that the first progress scores based on the Reception baseline will be published in the autumn of 2027. There has been confusion over the detail of the progress measures which will be generated under the new system. One specific area of concern has been around how infant / junior schools will be handled: the DfE did come up with a couple of proposals in their consultation document, but have now decided that they “cannot proceed with either of the options” and that these schools will have “responsibility for evidencing progress based on their own assessment information” (i.e. they won’t have any official progress data published!). Infant schools, will have a statutory duty to administer the RBA, but they won’t have to undertake KS1 assessments when they become non-statutory in 2023. So, as far as I can see, infant schools won’t have any official performance data from 2023 onwards, apart from their Phonics results - lucky them! The other area of confusion is around how pupil mobility will be handled: there appears to be a lack of clarity as to whether ‘mobile’ pupils will be included, or whether, for example, the measure will only include those pupils who have attended the same school from reception to Year 6. Whichever option is chosen, I would imagine that a lot of schools will have such low ‘retention’ figures that their progress figures would have to be considered to be of limited reliability and that the DfE might have to consider a retention threshold under which figures are not published. Jamie Pembroke has been doing some more detailed crystal-ball gazing here.
The Data Protection Act (DPA) will be superseded by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on 25th May 2018, it is important for schools to ensure that that their own systems - and those of any organisations that process data on their behalf - satisfy the requirements of GDPR.
The DfE has issued guidance to schools on GDPR which recommends that schools ask their suppliers some key questions about their systems. I will shortly be publishing the information my customers need to know about Ian Stokes Education Ltd and GDPR, but if you would like to contact me direct for a chat, that's fine too!
The new OFSTED dashboards have been released! They can be downloaded from ASP (Secure Access website) now.
KS1 data for 2017 (including Phonics) has been uploaded to ASP. Still no sign of those new Ofsted Inspection Dashboards yet though!
Just to alert you to the fact (if you haven’t already spotted it for yourselves!) that KS2 data has now been uploaded to ASP, as per the message below:
Analyse school performance (ASP) Update
KS2 data is now available in ASP - this is provisional data for 2016/17. CLA data is not currently available, therefore we are not publishing breakdowns of data such as disadvantaged; this will be added at the end of October along with KS1 and Phonics data for 2017. Provisional KS4 data will be available towards the end of November.