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New caveats for junior and middle schools in Ofsted's inspection data summary report and school performance tables

ofsted inspection.jpg

Following work with NAHT, Ofsted and various other stakeholders, the DfE has announced that they will be strengthening the caveat wording on the inspection data summary report (IDSR) and school performance tables (SPT) for junior and middle schools. The purpose of this is to ensure consistent messaging to help both parents and Ofsted inspectors to interpret progress scores.

Junior schools

The new wording in the SPT emphasises that, on average, junior schools have lower progress scores than other primaries and that this should be taken into account when comparing their results to schools which start educating their pupils from the beginning of key stage 1. The planned wording is:

"We know from national data that pupils at junior schools, on average, have higher attainment scores at the end of key stage 2 than pupils at all other primary schools. However, on average they also have lower progress score. This may be for a variety of reasons and should be taken into account when comparing their results to schools which start educating their pupils from the beginning of key stage 1."

Middle schools

For middle schools, the caveat in the SPT also emphasises that pupils will have only attended the school for a short time before they take their key stage 2 tests and will still have a number of years left at the school and that this too should be taken into account.The actual wording planned is:

"We know from published performance data that pupils at middle schools, on average, have lower progress scores at the end of key stage 2 than pupils at primary schools. Also, due to the age range of pupils at middle schools, pupils will have only attended a middle school for a short time before they take their key stage 2 tests and will still have a number of years left at the school. This should be taken into account when comparing their results to schools which start educating their pupils from the beginning of key stage 1."

The caveats used in the IDSR for junior and middle schools remain similar to last year with some stylistic changes.

 

University technical colleges, studio schools and FE colleges with 14-16

There is also an update on the caveat used in school performance tables for university technical colleges, studio schools and FE colleges with 14-16 which highlights that progress 8 is not the most appropriate performance measure to use and that other headline measures are more important for these establishments. The wording reads:

"Some schools start educating pupils partway through the five-year period covered by Progress 8, which should be taken into account when comparing their results with schools that start at Key Stage 3. Progress 8 is not the most appropriate performance measure for university technical colleges, studio schools and some further education colleges. These establishments typically start educating pupils at age 14, with a focus on preparing pupils for their future careers by providing an integrated academic and professional education. Other headline measures, particularly pupil destinations, are more important for these establishments."

 

First published 21 September 2018