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Flawed data in Ofsted dashboard

Since the Ofsted data dashboard was launched two weeks ago, a number of members have contacted NAHT expressing concerns about the accuracy of the data. This issue has been raised with Ofsted, and general secretary Russell Hobby today sent the following message to members:

"Many of you raised concerns about the comparison data on the Ofsted school data dashboard. You were right to do so, as it has emerged that there is indeed an error in their calculation of the quintiles. We raised your concerns with Ofsted and as a result they have since corrected the calculations and put the attached note on their website.

"I don’t know if this will resolve all the issues, so if you continue to spot problems please let us know. I think they have taken too long to correct this error. Further, they should have got the system right before launching it with great fanfare. Ofsted’s job is to hold schools to account using robust measures, not to maximise their PR profile. They got their priorities wrong on this. And they are certainly not reaching the same standards they would expect of you. I will be writing to the chief inspector to seek answers to a number of questions on their decision-making here."



The following has now been published on Ofsted's website:

News & updates
Update to quintiles – 11 March 2013

A number of schools have contacted us because they were surprised by their quintile ranking compared to similar schools. As a result of these enquiries we have reviewed the quintile methodology and updated the dashboards.

Even high performing schools with good results may be in the bottom quintile when compared to other similar schools. This is due to the other schools achieving even more for their pupils from similar starting points.

We have, however, recognised a different methodological issue, principally for ‘similar schools’. The issue occurred where, when a large number of schools had the same results, these were placed in more than one adjoining quintiles.

We have now addressed this and refreshed the dashboards. The new methodology means that for each measure, no schools with the same results are in different quintiles. In addition, schools in the bottom quintile are at least four percentage points different from those in the top quintile.

School Governors will now be sent this updated version and if you have already downloaded the dashboard then please download it again and use the latest version.

Page Published: 12/03/2013