schools have to report on NC levels don't they?

(43 Posts)
nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 04-Jun-14 23:19:03

just that really. Just so I know for if they aren't in our reports (as I suspect they won't be) that I am allowed to go and ask for them and shouldn't feel I am being difficult or anything.

thank you

MillyMollyMama Thu 05-Jun-14 00:08:10

I think only at the end of the key stages. Look at the Pupil Information Regulations Schedule 1 to see what has to be included and when. Other than at completion of the key stages and where exams are taken, I read it that reporting the NC level currently attained is not necessary. I could be wrong and it is a fairly intricate document. Just google it.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 05-Jun-14 00:14:12

They must report the results of the EYFS assessment at the end of reception, the NC level from the teacher assessment at the end of year 2, and the NC level at the end of year 6. In all other years they are not required to report an NC level.

That doesn't mean you can't ask for it if you want it though. Whilst it might be good practice to give it to you if you ask, I don't think they are required to do so and they can refuse.

rollonthesummer Thu 05-Jun-14 06:54:39

Only in Year 2 and Year 6.

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 05-Jun-14 08:21:46

ah ok thanks. I thought they had to give it to you every year.

diamondage Thu 05-Jun-14 09:46:10

Well it is true that there is only a statutory obligation to report levels to parents in yr 2 and yr 6 however a look at the guidance is most helpful!

From pg 10 of the APP Teacher's Handbook (APP is the process through which levels are determined): -

Using AFs when periodically reviewing and assessing pupils’ on-going work helps teachers to:

have a consistent approach and language for talking about pupils’ progress with pupils themselves, parents/carers and other teachers

AND

The high-quality information generated from APP assessment judgements can be used in a number of ways to inform:

feedback to pupils and parents/carers

Using APP to report progress to parents is mentioned a third time, but in a grid which I can't reproduce here. The point is right from APPs inception the intention was that the information gain from continuous assessment would be useful in keeping parents up to date with their children's progress.

Now you can argue it doesn't say that the teacher should report or share the actual level but how else would you use APP to inform parents of progress. If you only share next targets, then a parent only need look at the relevant APP grid and they can work it out for themselves. And next targets are not progress. You could say you're child have progressed 3 sublevels, great job, but that's hardly having "a consistent approach to ... language" or using the "high-quality information generated from APP assessment" is it?

More to the point why wouldn't you share this information - it's useful to parents that want to support their children. If a parent isn't interested fair enough, but if they are.....

You are entitled to view all information held on your child, and your school will hold your child's levels. Some schools provide this information as a matter of course, many schools will provide this information verbally if requested, some schools will make out that they couldn't possibly provide this information (sets a president blah blah blah), however if you request your child's records in writing they have to provide it. It's a pain through, because it's all or nothing then, either you go without, or put the request in writing and then have every record on your child to sift through. So think sledgehammer - nut scenario!

PastSellByDate Thu 05-Jun-14 10:11:32

Hi Nonicknames:

What diamondage has said/ described is my understanding.

My advice is keep pushing. Talk to other parents. If there's enough rumbling for this information the HT will cave.

I think the way to look at this is that any data collected by a state maintained school is subject to the Freedom of Information Act - so although a school can prevaricate or suggest an exorbitant fee for providing such information - the reality is that most schools have spent tax payers money on pupil progress tracking software or the LEA requires curricular reports for pupil records - so it is effectively a push of a button to generate such a report.

The KS2 SATs 2014 guidance states:

Schools must also keep curricular records on every child. Curricular records form a ‘subset’ of the child’s educational record. They are a formal record of a child’s academic achievements, their skills and abilities and the progress they make at a school. They must be updated at least once a year.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), schools are responsible for ensuring that the collation, retention, storage and security of all personal information they produce and hold meets the provisions of the DPA. This includes personal information appearing in children’s educational records and any other information they hold which identiies individuals, including children, staf and parents.

Schools must consider the implications of the DPA, under which they are required to register as a data controller with the Information ommissioner’s Oice (ICO). Many schools consult their legal advisors for guidance on their responsibilities under the DPA and advice on developing their data policies.

(This is found on p35 of this year's Assessment and Reporting Arrangements guidance from the government: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/278150/2014_KS2_assessmentandreportingarrangementsARA_DIGITAL_HO.pdf

It is my view that it is a worrying sign if a school is not proactive and transparent about their system of tracking your child's progress and including you in that process.

HTH

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 05-Jun-14 10:30:51

thank you - that is very helpful. If they aren't in the reports then I will request them for both children AND write them down. last year I got the EYFS ones for DD1 and could remember what she got exceeds for and didn't because it was very easy but I didn't write down the NC levels they told me for her reading, writing and maths although I remember being told she was on NC levels. I wish I had as it would be interesting to see what progress she has made this year and give me some idea of what to expect next year. with DD2 I will request EYFS levels and if she is on NC levels I will note them down.

Perhaps I am a pain to teachers but I do believe that they aren't solely responsible for my children's education and that I have a role to play in it therefore it is helpful for me to know that my children are working towards fulfilling their potential.

thanks

PastSellByDate Thu 05-Jun-14 11:48:05

Nonickname:

don't worry about whether or not you're being 'a pain' - the point is that you are interested/ concerned/ entitled to understand how your child is progressing and that, oddly enough, does require information on performance (against APP points/ NC LEVELS & sub-levels) to understand.

I 'get' that schools can see parents wanting this information as 'pushy', 'overly ambitious', 'Tiger Mums', PITAs or wanting for purposes of 'showing off' - but actually I think all of those conclusions about parents are pretty bigoted.

It is totally normal as a parent to want to understand your child is doing alright against some form of national standard, not just in terms of their class of 30 pupils. If we meekly wait for the schools to report this information we only get it at end of Y2 and Y6 (SATs results - Y2 SATs are teacher assessments only). In both cases, only getting that data as a a parent puts your child at a real disadvantage - as you can find out too late that your child is struggling in KS1 or KS2.

It's not the end of the world - but making it clear to a parent at the beginning of KS2 that their child is working well behind where they should be can mean school's have a vital ally in their battle to improve a pupil's attainment.

Personally, I think school's are foolish to exclude parents from this process - but I suspect it's coming from a place of weakness (as managers/ educators) - it's about covering up an overall pattern of poor performance or avoiding parental pressure to do more.

I find it interesting that when our school had good results - they were always immediately updated/ available on our school's website. Now that we're struggling to achieve 62% - 70% above NC L4 in English/ Maths combined finding the KS2 SATs figures on the website, let alone within the school prospectus, is well nigh impossible.

Retropear Thu 05-Jun-14 11:54:42

Schools have to let you see all data on your dc.

I've always pushed for mine,if you don't you have no idea of progress.Once pushed for one of my dc's levels which I got a few days before the end of the summer term,did some calculations and worked out his progress had been very poor.Went in on the very last day of term only to be told yes his progress had been flagged up.Nobody had thought to tell me,not even in his glowing report with A1s for everything.angry

I'm always vigilant now,but I am that parent as a result?Hey ho.

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 05-Jun-14 13:24:42

thank you. I will make sure I ask for it then.

KnittedJimmyChoos Thu 05-Jun-14 13:49:11

I dont see why they would want to withold any info and what benefit it would serve surely the problems come when the parents are not interested at all rather than the other way round?

if my dc was falling behind in maths I really want to know so I can help, at our last parents evening the teacher was keen to tell us where to help our dd. surely this is normal and how it should be?

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 05-Jun-14 13:59:32

I don't disagree with a lot of that, Past but I do think it is important not to read too much into the level or progress particularly once you get down to sub levels. I think you could probably get a lot of the information you are looking for without the teacher even giving you a numerical level. It depends how honest and open the teacher is.

They are useful to give a you a comparison as to how your child is achieving compared to a national expectation for their age but they are not an awful lot of use beyond that.

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 05-Jun-14 14:04:53

for me it is to see if she has made progress this year. I don't feel they have so far had an accurate benchmark to start from so she is just coasting her way through things and not really learning as much as she probably should be.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 05-Jun-14 14:19:21

If they showed she had made good progress, would you feel better about it or would you still feel that she had been coasting and they hadn't quite sussed her so she could have made more?

I don't by any means think teachers should with hold levels. It's just that sometimes the narrative that goes with it is just as, if not more important than the level. And almost always tell you more about the child and their progression.

pointythings Thu 05-Jun-14 15:41:29

I agree that it is a sign of a school's weakness to withhold this information. DD1's primary reports levels regularly - mapped against the criteria of what they should be able to do to achieve that level in considerable detail. It's really useful, because you can see at a glance which aspects your DC still need to work on. The teachers also give very concrete advice on what next steps should be and what you can do at home.

PastSellByDate Thu 05-Jun-14 16:42:18

Rafa:

I get the point your making - if a school's information to me (parent/ teacher meetings conversations/ end of year reports) was open and honestly reflected the current status - then yes NC Levels would be over-egging the pudding.

But the point is in our context - we had YR - Y1 being told at everything was fine at parent/ teacher meetings & end of year reports. Your child is working at the expected level. We did gently raise concerns but were always told she's developing at her own speed and things will pick up next year. They didn't. NC L1 across the board at end Y2 KS1 SATs.

The result of our complaining is that a system whereby the school outlined current performance and a brief APP style grid of what to do next resulted (much like what pointythings described above).

Our hope was that no other family will have to go through the shock of being repeatedly told all is well only to find out much too late it isn't.

However, although the school 'closed the loop' on our complaint - they never seriously addressed closing the gap in achievement. We were left to it - so my solution was going part-time and doing more at home.

I wish I could say it's just me, but in fact it has become increasingly clear that children that do well at our school do well because parents get heavily involved or because they go for the 11+ (many of whom get private tutors for that). So we end up with a group of kids in Y6 (single form entry mind you) where half the kids are working below NC L4 (the ones who didn't go for the 11+ or do more at home) and the main class teacher spends all their time with them and the other half of the cohort (DD1 & friends - all NC L4+) are left to an endless round of substitutes and then more recently a KS1 part-time teacher was moved to cover their time in English/ Maths revision for SATs (one presumes because of complaints - although I didn't personally). The entirety of Y6 up to SATs has been English/ Maths/ Science revision for SATs. Not my idea of a school planning well to educate children steadily to a good standard.

I await our school's SATs results with interest - the school's Y6 cohorts haven't scored better than 72% to NC L4+ in English/ Maths combined since 2008. And we've had a worrying 65% and 62% recently.

noblegiraffe Thu 05-Jun-14 16:52:12

NC levels are being scrapped so don't expect to be given them in future years.

mrz Thu 05-Jun-14 17:15:33

From pg 10 of the APP Teacher's Handbook (APP is the process through which levels are determined) simply not true I'm afraid diamondage APP is an assessment tool but isn't used by all schools and was actually mothballed by Mr Gove when he came into office> My school has never used APP.

mrz Thu 05-Jun-14 17:18:05

Now you can argue it doesn't say that the teacher should report or share the actual level but how else would you use APP to inform parents of progress.

quite simply you would say your child can now do x, y and z.

rollonthesummer Thu 05-Jun-14 18:49:59

Totally agree with Mrz-we haven't used APP for years!

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 05-Jun-14 19:48:11

I would be more than happy with a wordy report that showed she had achieved something she hadn't previously been able to do but everything listed in her report last year could have been written by her preschool a year before so whilst dialogue is much more effective and useful than a 'grade' that is only true if it is accurate.

That is a hard one if they can show she has made progress would I be happy or would I think they still could have helped her do more? It depends. if she was a 1a in reception say and is only a 2c then yes I would think she could have done a lot more. If she went from a 1c to a 2c then I would feel happier that she had made progress.

If she is in Yr1 though she will still be reported on in next years SATS with NC levels won't she?

I suppose my gut feeling is she has been coasting, she hasn't been stretched and whilst she has had a nice time this year and has developed in some ways I suspect she hasn't actually made an enormous amount of progress academically because it all seems to be a bit 'capped' so to speak. So I would prefer to have something that actually tells me some information so that if next year my feeling is the same then I can potentially start asking some questions if it seems relevant.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 05-Jun-14 19:54:00

Levels are going in September, and are not being replaced. The irony is that the year 6s next year will still do SATs, and I think year 2s too, and progress from KS2 will still be used as a measure of secondary schools. But levels are going...

mrz Thu 05-Jun-14 19:56:46

Levels are going but new end of Key Stage tests are being introduced from 2016

mrz Thu 05-Jun-14 19:58:05

What did she achieve in her pre school 1,2 or 3?

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