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2016 RAISEonline: more thought needs to be given to school leaders

RAISEonline: primary phase concerns this year

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NAHT has highlighted concerns and feedback from our primary members about this year's RAISEonline report to the DfE. At the time, the secondary report had not yet been published.

We explained to the DfE that overall the redesign of the primary report had not gone down well. There is a lack of simple summary headline data at the beginning as you'd expect to see and RAISE and the dashboard together give almost 80 pages of complex data to wade through which seems excessive. We reported mixed feelings from members about the scattergraphs, questioning how useful these are and how much schools use them. There are also no longer the reports marked "G" to identify which pages are particularly relevant to governors.

The DfE currently partners with Ofsted to produce RAISE online and so the content and ordering of the report is driven by those two organisations. In recognition of the fact that the report contains overly complex charts and data, the DfE and Ofsted have agreed to put together some short videos on key reports to explain what they show – these are planned be on the DfE YouTube channel but not likely to be available until the New Year.

In addition, we raised concerns over the use of EYFS data to measure progress to end of KS1, as EYFS data was never designed to be used in this way and it has not been done before. In response to this, the DfE confirmed that it has been used, after consideration, to show the correlation from EYFS to KS1. When pushed about the use of the data for this purpose, the response was that as RAISE was not a public document it could be included. It is likely that this will also be included in the RAISE replacement service next year. NAHT will continue to argue that it is not acceptable to take an assessment designed for one purpose and use it for another without warning, consultation or preparation. A 'low stakes' assessment migrating into a high stakes accountability measure is just the type of change which builds distrust in the assessment regime.

Going forwards, Ofsted will not be partnering with the DfE to produce RAISE and a replacement service for RAISE is in development for next year. However, it is likely that Ofsted will still have a lot of input into the content and layout of the replacement. NAHT have been involved with the DfE in discussions about the need to ensure a core service is available to all schools and we have engaged extensively with the replacement team about both primary and secondary school leaders' views on what data is important to them for the new version of the report.

 NAHT has stressed that more thought needed to be given to the ordering of the report and more consideration given to the audience of school leaders (and governors) and not just Ofsted. The report needs to be fit for purpose for both audiences. NAHT also suggested going back to a simple, summary report on the first page which gives key headline data and consulting on the use of the scattergraphs as dropping these (or some of them) would shorten the report.

Page Published: 29/11/2016