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LAs and MATs should no longer request target setting data from schools

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NAHT members have raised concerns with us regarding unreasonable requests for data from Local Authorities and MATs. These include requests for predictions of pupil progress or a requirement for data to be presented in a particular format. 

In the March 2017 School Inspection Update, Ofsted made it clear that inspectors should not ask school leaders to provide predictions for individual pupils or cohorts in upcoming tests or exams.

Despite this, we have been made aware that some LAs and MATs have continued to make requests for such data.

We recently met with officials from the DfE to discuss these concerns. They have confirmed to us that:

  • LAs and MATs are able request data from schools but that it must be proportionate and not place unreasonable burdens on schools.
  • LAs and MATs should not request predictions of pupil or cohort progress scores from schools.

In addition, last week the Teacher Workload Advisory Group published its report. As part of the report, the group recommended that:

  • “Beyond statutory data collections [the DfE] do not request regular attainment data from schools unless they meet a trigger for intervention. When this is required this should be in the school’s existing format where possible, and should not add to the number of data collections. The DfE should communicate to local authorities, MATs and others that they should not ask for this information either.”
  • “[The DfE] not request data on pupil targets and predictions to hold schools to account. When this is required to allocate support to schools, this should be in the school’s existing format, and should not add to the number of data collections.”
  • “Local authorities and multi academy trusts should not request data on targets and predictions to hold schools to account. Where this is required to enable, for example, providing additional support to schools, this should not be in a different format to the format the school uses, and should not add to the number of data collections.”

In their response, the government have accepted all the recommendations contained within the report and confirmed that they will not request data on pupil targets and predictions to hold schools to account. They have also confirmed that they will communicate to local authorities and multi-academy trusts that they should not request data on targets and predictions to hold schools to account.

This is a significant development and we are pleased that the DfE have responded positively to our concerns. 


First published 13 November 2018