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Updated 'schools causing concern' guidance published

The DfE has published its updated schools causing concern guidance for local authorities and regional schools commissioners (RSC).

On 5 June 2017, NAHT wrote to the Secretary of State outlining our concerns with the current approach to the assessment of writing, and our belief that this data should not therefore be used for school accountability purposes in 2017. NAHT sought a commitment from government that no intervention will be made on the basis of this data, including where a primary school falls below the floor or coasting standards in 2017 as a result of writing data alone. On 18 July we received a formal response from the Secretary of State for Education, and the updated guidance published today reflects the commitments of her letter.

The guidance states that local authorities and RSCs will consider the school in the round, take account of its context, and consider data and other evidence of the school's performance and capacity to improve.

In particular, the updated guidance confirms that in 2016 and 2017, if a school's performance at KS2 has dropped below the floor standard, or met the coasting definition, based on performance in writing alone, the local authority or RSC should not intervene or issue a warning notice except where the extent of the change in performance cannot be explained by the impact of the changes to primary assessment arrangements in these transitional years.

The floor standard has now been published, the coasting standard will follow in October but this is provisional data and no school is below the floor or coasting until the revised data is published in December.

Page published: 01/09/2017