Data for Schools Newsgroup – Feb 2012

Hello again,

As we move into the second half of the year minds will be turning to the Summer exams and yet we still await validated data for 2011! Below you will find a few points we have so far observed about the new OFSTED inspection regime and its impact, but first:

RAISEonline – Validated Data

Unvalidated data is now on RAISEonline for all key stages and RAISE have issued the following timetable for the release of validated data:

These samples only contain a selection of pages from the full report
 KS2 – Interactive Schedules 21st February 2012
 KS2 – Updated Summary Report 24th February 2012
 KS1 March 2012
 KS4 Mid April 2012

Attendance & Exclusions data

You should be aware that the new 2011 attendance tables (including the persistent absence measured at 15% or more sessions missed) are available on RAISE in the inter-active tables although they are not yet in the Summary Reports that you can print out. The group detailed table for attendance is also available online.

The Exclusions data at school and group level is also available for 2010 online. Schools need to review this data and identify any trails inspectors may want to follow-up when considering their Behaviour judgement.

New Ofsted Regime

The new Ofsted regime is now live and the latest guidance to inspectors suggests more reliance is being placed on their analytical and judgement skills to unpick the performance of the school from its raw data on RAISEonline and the information provided in a school self review documents. Initial comments from inspectors suggest early inspections have seen more schools than normal moving into NTI or Special Measures.

Inspector’s Subsidiary Guidance

An essential document for all schools to have read before an inspection is the Subsidiary guidance given to inspectors that can be found at

This document provides a range of detailed guidance to inspectors on how to approach each area of an inspection including the use of data. It contains detailed guidance on data by phase including Nurseries, how to review SEN data and other issues around the judgement of Achievement – it is worth a read.


Inspectors will focus much of their work around the performance of groups and although their written guidance suggests a group has to be 20% of the cohort size to be viewed as sizeable they seem to have been instructed to consider group issues when only 1 or 2 children show certain characteristics. So beware!


Much is made of analysing SEN data in the Subsidiary Guidance. The main point made is that for SEN pupils, schools need to consider the cognitive ability of each pupil and ensure appropriate targets are set for them, and then achievement can be judged against these targets. Schools need to decide how best to categorise the pupil’s cognitive ability. Any review of performance using cognitive ability will help to better explain the schools results than using SEN category or SEN type.

A quite separate point made is that schools need to be very clear with their reason for placing a pupil on the SEN register. This seems to focus around the challenge that too many children are classified as School Action. This is likely to become a 2 edged sword at inspection, if results for SA pupils are low then schools will be asked why this is so, if they are strong then schools will be challenged as to why the pupils are on SA!!

Groups and Filters on RAISEonline

I think inspectors will see it as good practice if schools undertake additional group analysis based on the groups and filters functionality in RAISE. The 2 groups I would recommend schools consider creating at least are:

  • Attendance levels as these are often linked to performance – schools may chose to group pupils by attendance bands, and
  • Cognitive abilities for SEN pupils due the reasons set out above

Entry and Exit points

Guidance is that schools will be measured to the exit point for their pupils and this seems to be much clearer in the new regime. Split phase schools need to have clear evidence of assessments at exit together with progress data from entry to exit.

In the cases where there has been dispute in the past about entry levels, the inspectors are now expected to take account of schools assessments on entry as well as previous key stage results – this may help many junior schools.

There is now clear guidance to inspectors on how to assess below average entry into Nursery, Foundation and KS1 so school need to prepare their evidence accordingly. This guidance is likely to change with the introduction of the new Foundation stage scales so look out for a September revised OFSTED guidance.

Apparent differences in some Secondary tables and charts

Secondaries will be aware of the multitude of new schedule they have including the new EBACC analysis. The most important issue here is for the school’s data manager to unpick what exams are included where. Some may not be included at all. One of the quickest ways to check this is to use the cohort size in each table – does it include all your pupils?

Much of the confusion is around the treatment of different English examinations and whether they are being included as GCSE equivalents or not.

The basic information given by RAISE suggests:

“The older traditional tables are generally based on GCSE and equivalents. The EBACC tables include only GCSEs. The Basics measure is as for EBACC for maths, although for English it includes a few pupils who have taken the pilot English Studies.

The different varieties of tables and schedules are layered like a pyramid. All EBACC pupils are included in Basics, and all Basics pupils are included in the traditional measure. This applies for threshold and APS tables. So you should always find that the EBACC APS is the lowest of the three and the traditional APS is the highest.”

VA Ready Reckoners

Some of you will remember the old CVA Ready Reckoners, well the new VA Ready Reckoners are now available in the RAISEonline Library.

Some key points to note:

In the KS1-2 model, the starting point for progress measures are L1 = 1B or 9 points and a L3 is treated as a 3B = 21 points
Similarly at KS2-4 a L5 is treated as a 5B= 33 points
If pupils are absence for a test at KS2 then the teacher assessments will be used if they have been submitted

All Pupils National Average

A key element of the analysis of the groups for the new OFSTED Achievement criteria is the comparison to the “All Pupils” National Average. So each group attainment now needs to be considered:

  • Against its classmates – the “Non” Groups
  • Against their national peers
  • Over time
  • And now against the All Pupils national Average

Y6 tests

Finally a point some Primaries and Juniors have missed is that the new L6 test are going to raise the national APS for all schools. So if you school chooses not to do them or does not have pupils able to attempt them and your APS remains the same as last year you may find yourself dropping behind the national comparisons.

Sorry for this rather long update, if you have any questions please contact me.

Contact Andy Best on:
0844 963 2242

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