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Help me understand the school performance tables

(17 Posts)
rhinobaby Sun 09-Nov-14 21:14:44

Looking at the tables for GCSEs for my local state school, approx 60% leave with 5 A-C, broken down into 97% high attainers but only 40% middle attainers. This is a school where 10% defined as low attainers, so much lower than average as far as I can see.

How can it be that of those leaving primary as 'average' 6 in 10 don't manage to get 5 Cs or C in English and maths? To me that is shocking, and would suggest the school is not very good, - what is a reasonable % of a cohort to not manage this basic achievement?

TalkinPeace Mon 10-Nov-14 13:23:46

If its a comp, the bottom 20% will be kids with identified learning difficulties : a C grade in any GCSE will be an achievement, getting in a C in 5 is a ridiculous ask

in a demographically average comp, 33% will get EBACC, 66% will get 5 A-C
they should have well over 90% getting something
it depends on teh area and the cohort information : stats need reading in context

titchy Mon 10-Nov-14 13:43:58

You need to dig a bit deeper.

How many were middle attainers? If there were only 20 middle attaining kids in the cohort, then 12 went off the rails somewhere (and don't forget the brightest, most enthusiastic of 11 year olds can go totally teenagery once hormones strike), so that's probably not too worrying. On the other hand if middle attainers make up 100 kids then that's not so great, and if your kid is a middle attainer you might want to ask the school about these figures.

What is the value added score for high/middle and low? Don't forget that middle attainers will include those who just scraped a 4c in their SATS, and thus might not be reflective of their actual ability.

rhinobaby Mon 10-Nov-14 18:42:30

Just under 300 in year group,45% each middle and high attainers, 10% low, ie a greater proportion of cohort than average, also only 1% English not first language, and 7% free school meals. It is a nice town, from the primary school I would expect most to achieve good GCSEs, however I think the secondary has had a bad press and some kids will go elsewhere.

Making expected progress for both maths and English approx 70%.
Best 8 value added (all pupils) 976.2 ( no idea if this is good or bad)

Ok so low attainers equates to they will find it hard to get any C grades, but of middle attainers, how many should a 'good' school expect to get 5 Cs?

a fully comp school ( which this is not, as seems to have more able pupils on paper at end of KS2) - 66% should get 5 A to C, as this school only gets 60%. I suppose I wonder what the reason is for a pupil not to achieve a C, esp in English and maths as long as there are no specific learning problems like dyslexia.

Thanks for your input, I know teachers are under a lot of pressure to get 'results' that may be not possible for the individual , and when it comes to results how much is due to pupil effort, teacher ability or head leadership is hard to judge

TalkinPeace Mon 10-Nov-14 19:46:09

VA of 976 is NOT good : 1000 is par .... above 1000 is good

How does it compare with the LEA ?

rhinobaby Mon 10-Nov-14 20:06:38

It gets 3% points more A-C Gcses that the LA average - however this area is the 'posh' end of the county which has some spots of deprivation in other towns.
If 1000 VA is par, how much above 1000 would be a 'good' school - the high attainers get 1004 VA but I guess that is not that great either.

TalkinPeace Mon 10-Nov-14 20:17:07

Just looking at my local schools
the catholic girls school has VA of 1013 for its non FSM pupils and gets FAB results

one local comp school has VA of 1016 for its non FSM and 985 for the FSM
another has 998 and 915
both those schools get very good average GCSE and ebacc

the sponsored academy school has VA of 1018 for non FSM and 1000 for FSM but still gets dire results

OpalQuartz Mon 10-Nov-14 20:25:39

Does the Catholic school require entrants to attend church regularly to get in? If so then I would expect this level of commitment to be reflected in commitment to the child's schooling also, regardless of fsm status. I don't think selective faith schools and non selective schools can be directly compared.

TalkinPeace Mon 10-Nov-14 20:27:34

our local one : absolutely not
its full of Muslims, Hindus, Pagans and Sikhs
the boys school even has kids in turbans on its website

the only perk it does have is a 6th form

Coolas Mon 10-Nov-14 20:29:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bookbag40 Mon 10-Nov-14 21:38:44

How is high or middle attainment assesed? Is Middle 4a - 4c and high 5c+ I thought that getting a 4b was meant to mean you were capable of getting 5 GCSEs grade a-c . From lots of tables I have been looking at middle attainets often don't seem to do that well

TalkinPeace Mon 10-Nov-14 21:39:52

the boundaries seem to change - but on the dfe tables there are little "?" buttons next to most data sets

titchy Mon 10-Nov-14 22:07:47

Secondaries don't get sub levels of thevSATS. So a middle attainer could be a very good 4a or equally a very lucky 3a who scraped a 4c on the day of the test.

catslife Tue 11-Nov-14 09:36:16

There are several difficulties with league tables. Do you mean the most recent ones for 2014? If so they may be affected by the following:
1.They have recently changed the rules about taking qualifications early:
Pupils who were entered early in the Summer of Y10 or In November of Y11 and obtained a grade C wouldn't have their results included in the Tables.
2. There have also been some changes in the way English has been assessed this year which will have affected results at some schools. Speaking and Listening assessments used to count towards the marks and this was changed part way through the course. This would probably affect the middle attainers the most.
3. There has been changes in the Maths syllabus (first year affected by this change is 2013) as GCSEs moved from modular to linear exams. This would have affected the grade C candidates (middle) the most.
4. iGCSEs may not be included in the tables (in my LEA some independent schools have zero in one column as all pupils do iGCSEs but no-one would question whether they are still good schools). If a school enters part of the year group for iGCSE for Maths or English the pupils may still have obtained grade Cs but may not be included in the Tables.
I understand that only iGCSEs from some exam boards now count towards the league tables.

TalkinPeace Tue 11-Nov-14 11:15:55

2014 results tables do not come out till January.

Anything in the press is self reported speculation and should be ignored
ONLY the Dfe tables are complete

rhinobaby Tue 11-Nov-14 17:43:01

Yes 2013 stats, I will look out for the new ones in January, but suspect they may not be much better, as usually schools crow about good results in the local press and I have not heard anything! ( I know they may be waiting for re- marks)
Thanks for all input - the 'good' schools I know of in a 10 mile radius all do much better on the VA, and slightly on the Gcses. Schools seem to be so polarised though, as lots of really poor gsce results within 10 miles as well ( much worse than my local school, but urban environment ).

TalkinPeace Tue 11-Nov-14 17:46:44

the last of the re-marks came through late last month

lots of schools are currently changing their exam board contracts so that will add to the mix as well

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