Primary School Accountability in 2022

The DfE published its technical guide to primary school accountability on 5th September. SSAT Senior Education Lead, Colin Logan, considers the key headlines.

Although, unlike with KS4 and 5, the results of the KS2 tests won’t appear in performance tables this year, Ofsted, regional DfE teams, MATs, LAs, governing bodies and headteachers will have access to the normal suite of reports via Analyse School Performance (ASP) and Ofsted’s inspection data summary report (IDSR). (And, of course, for those with a subscription, FFT Aspire will also be releasing their reports and estimates for future performance shortly.)

Once ASP and the IDSR have appeared around November time, data at MAT-level will also be shared with the MATs themselves, Ofsted and DfE teams. The value of the data, however, is questionable, given that all the measures (the percentage meeting the expected standard in RWM combined and average progress in each of reading, writing and maths) are averages of the weighted averages from each academy, so only give a very broad overall picture. And not all MATs will be included: they need to be “sufficiently large and well-established”.

All users of the data are advised in the guidance to treat the data with caution, given what has happened over the last couple of years. The DfE “strongly advises against” comparing one school’s performance with another, Ofsted inspectors will only use the data “to inform discussion about pupil outcomes” and pay progression decisions should not be made based on them.

All primary schools should have received their own provisional progress scores on the 5th September. The new guidance explains how value-added progress from KS1 to 2 has been calculated this year now that there are no longer national curriculum levels to use as a baseline from KS1. Essentially, each of the judgements at KS1 (greater depth, expected standard, working towards and foundations for the expected standard) is given a point score (10, 8, 6 and 4 respectively). These are then used to calculate for each child an average point score for English and maths. There are then 19 prior attainment groups based on the national distribution of average point scores. These then provide estimated scaled scores for each child at KS2 on which their value-added progress is then calculated. As before, a school’s progress score is the sum of the individual scores divided by the number in the cohort. There is a full explanation and worked examples in the guidance.

Colin has also put together a helpful table which summarises of the data available to schools across all key stages over the coming years to support colleagues with what to expect and for forward planning.

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