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Education reforms - Value Added element of League Tables to be removed

(18 Posts)
LilyBolero Fri 26-Nov-10 23:46:08

Apparently it is hard to understand (the column that shows 'value added'), and also it assumes that pupils who start off weaker can't attain highly.

Surely this is just going to further disadvantage schools that have a weaker intake than schools in so called 'good areas'? You simply can't compare schools from 'good areas' with some schools in terribly deprived areas - for starters, there is often a massive job teaching english to a lot of the students!

It will just render the league tables useless, but give the government ammunition to get the weaker schools taken over.

onimolap Fri 26-Nov-10 23:49:44

Link?

There's been coverage that value-added measures are being completely overhauled, and an apology from TES when it prematurely (and erroneously) reported abolition.

Has there been a new announcement?

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 26-Nov-10 23:50:07

surely if the weaker pupils attain highly it just makes their value added figure even higher as they've achieved even better???

LilyBolero Fri 26-Nov-10 23:54:10

6.12 We will put an end to the current ‘contextual value added’ (CVA) measure. This measure attempts to quantify how well a school does with its pupil population compared to pupils with similar characteristics nationally. However, the measure is difficult for the public to understand, and recent research shows it to be a less strong predictor of success than raw attainment measures. It also has the effect of expecting different levels of progress from different groups of pupils on the basis of their ethnic background, or family circumstances, which we think is wrong in principle.

Education White Paper

GrimmaTheNome Fri 26-Nov-10 23:57:42

The current value-added measure often didn't seem to make much sense. I know what they were trying to do, and there definitely should be some measure of improvement not just final result, but they didn't really seem very useful for guiding parental choice.

onimolap Fri 26-Nov-10 23:58:03

Yes, that's the revamp I referred to. The current way of "measuring" is for the chop, but there will continue to be a contextual analysis. I think there has yet to be an announcement on the new version.

onimolap Sat 27-Nov-10 00:00:06

PS: paras 6.14 and 6.15 refer - but still lack detail.

LilyBolero Sat 27-Nov-10 00:07:59

There must be something to show improvement from baseline, because otherwise it is desperately unfair on schools in more deprived areas where children do tend to start off less advanced than in wealthier areas (for whatever reason, this is statistically the case).

onimolap Sat 27-Nov-10 00:23:07

I'm on a mobile, so can't cut and paste, but if you look at the latter part of para 6.13, you will see explicit recognition of that exact point and an expectation it will be fully covered in future performance measuring.

But until the promised Green Paper comes out with the detail on how this will actually be implemented, it's hard to say if this will be a good step or otherwise.

LilyBolero Sat 27-Nov-10 10:59:16

THanks, will await the GReen Paper with interest!

nooka Sun 28-Nov-10 05:37:01

I found the Value Added column the most useful when I was picking primary schools as the demographics in our local area were so varied. One of the lower performing schools on the straight attainment front had very very good VA scores - it's catchment included the estate where our borough housed all of their refugees, so a very large number of children with no English (many of whom with fairly traumatic backgrounds, and some also with difficult lives at the time too). The school we ended up picking had a special unit for children with behavioural problems, again on the 'raw' scores it didn't do well, but much better on the VA scores. Contrasted with the two most sought after schools, both with higher scores, in the poshest area (very small catchments too) and neither with very good VA scores.

If people find the VA scores hard to understand then perhaps they should come with a better explanation? Seemed fairly obvious to me that all children do not arrive at school equal and that helping all children to achieve is important, whilst acknowledging that not all of them will get the highest marks. I suppose it is conceivable with the pupil premium for more disadvantaged children the extra resources will be in place to create a level playing field, but I think that's probably a little over ambitious.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 29-Nov-10 18:51:49

a low value added could come from a high end pupil intake.

If you have pupils that are supposed to attain an "A" grade at gcse it can be hard to get a high value added.

If you have a school with a mainly "C" grade intake you stand a better chance of gaining a better value added.

In the sam way that if an "A" grade student does not perform you can have a class that has a very low value added to start with, i.e if an "A" student gets a F grade he has cost you 5 points before the rest of the class even start.

value added doesn't really work very well.

maypole1 Mon 29-Nov-10 19:06:00

LilyBolero Fri 26-Nov-10 23:46:08
Apparently it is hard to understand (the column that shows 'value added'), and also it assumes that pupils who start off weaker can't attain highly.

Surely this is just going to further disadvantage schools that have a weaker intake than schools in so called 'good areas'? You simply can't compare schools from 'good areas' with some schools in terribly deprived areas - for starters, there is often a massive job teaching English to a lot of the students!

It will just render the league tables useless, but give the government ammunition to get the weaker schools taken over.


sorry don't agree we live in the poorer end of the LA and we live very close to one of the best schools in the LA its intake it has 70% non english speakers and the ofsted report says these children by year 9 have passed their peers also it has a higher than average dinner ticket take up when i went to the open day and asked the head how he achieved this when he is faced with such deprivation he told me that discipline is free he has a no nonsense police he believes every child can achieve despite their background, small Mister meanies do not go unchallenged.
Parents are not allowed to get away simply check out in terms of their children education the parents who stay away from the school or try and hide have the most input culture and religion is not and excuse for floating any school rule and he also said that far 2 many schools simply sight disadvantage as their reason for failure.

LilyBolero Mon 29-Nov-10 19:43:33

In a primary school with a transient roll of many non-English speaking pupils this is not going to be the case though, as there simply isn't time to bring their results up.

nooka Tue 30-Nov-10 04:12:40

The point is that you look at the two scores together. If a school has very good results then a low value add tells you that their intake is relatively advantaged. Whilst schools that have a high proportion of children with special educational needs, or who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, or who arrive with no English do have additional challenges. If they then still achieve really good grades then that is a mark of a particularly good school. Which is the sort of thing that parents should find useful to know. I also would want to be aware of schools with an intake of children who are predicted high grades that don't then achieve them, because I'd see that as a problem (especially with a ds who coasts). Of course if the school has very small classes then one disaffected child could have a big impact, but if you look at the results for more than one year or across age groups then this should be an obvious anomaly.

amicissima Tue 30-Nov-10 12:01:52

My understanding was that the original value added simply showed how much better (or worse!) the children had performed than you would have expected from their performance at intake.

Later this was changed so that certain groups were counted as achieving higher than they actually did.

From "It also has the effect of expecting different levels of progress from different groups of pupils on the basis of their ethnic background, or family circumstances, which we think is wrong in principle." it sounds as if they are planning to go back to the original VA measure.

nooka Tue 30-Nov-10 15:51:08

Oh I didn't know it had changed. I was thinking of when it was the performance against expectations.

animula Wed 01-Dec-10 12:24:43

But CVA didn't take account of very high-performing schools, did it? Because it only measured up to the cut-off, it didn't take account of those schools that started off with well-performing children, and then "added value" over and above the cut-off?

Generally agree, though. Bit sad for all those schools that are doing pretty well by their pupils, but you'd never know it from the raw-stats-at-the-end approach.

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