Progress scores

(7 Posts)
bananasandwichcake Mon 05-Mar-18 03:49:14

How concerned should I be that the primary we've chosen for our DC has below average and well below average progress scores? It has attainment of 101and 103 which seems ok. But the progress scores are really worrying me.

It has an outstanding ofsted ( though it was 5 years ago) and I really liked it when I looked round. Lots of clubs and extracurricular activities, great ethos, fairly new and impressive head teacher.

How accurate and how important are the progress scores?

Am I crazy to be thinking of sending my child there?

OP’s posts: |
MrR2200 Mon 05-Mar-18 06:54:52

Neither Ofsted nor the progress measure are completely reliable. They're useful but no substitute for your own instinct and research.

The progress measure tracks Y2 to Y6 so these numbers reflect the last 4 years and will be very out of date by the time your DC gets to KS2. I've come across schools that posted overly high Y2 data to clinch their outstanding which now have some really poor progress scores; similarly, there are schools which were in real difficulties four years ago but which have now turned around so their progress looks amazing for the time being when there's a very low baseline.

The school evidently has some difficulties and when Ofsted returns it will likely get Requires Improvement just on outcomes alone (which is fine as this will guarantee change if nothing else does) but if it has a new headteacher you're happy with then they will be very acutely aware of this problem. In any event, the upper school could be completely different in a few years so your immediate priority is EYFS provision, phonics screen results and whether you feel your child will be happy there.

bananasandwichcake Mon 05-Mar-18 09:51:14

Thanks. That's really helpful. I've looked into phonics results. They look quite encouraging - 72 percent compared with a national stat of 71

And the EYFS is 84 percent compared with 81 nationally.

This has reassured me a bit. Am I right to feel that way. These are good stats right??

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Mon 05-Mar-18 10:47:49

I think the school will be falling over itself to improve progress. An outstanding school (which it probably isn’t) will not be happy with these results and they really must do something about them!

I don’t think you can choose a school by any one off cohort results though. Your child is not a statistic! I would visit and look for engaged children who appear to be learning. Look at behaviour and whether children want to show you what they are doing. Are they confident and keen to learn and do you trust the Head? Leadership and teaching is important. The children in this school may be tutored and therefore Sats results are ok, although poor progress indicates poor teaching in the school. Ask the school what they are doing about it and then you will be better placed to make a decision.

bananasandwichcake Mon 05-Mar-18 11:09:00

Thanks Bubbles. All my instincts tell me it's a good school. I know some families who go there and the kids are bright, articulate and involved in theatre and music productions and sports etc.

I really did like it when I looked round. The facilities aren't great - it's an old Victorian building so the rooms are small, but the classes looked engaging and the teachers seemed impressive. Plus I really liked the ethos and values. But I don't work in education and have no idea what to really look for.

The stats appear to be illustrating an issue with the strength of the teaching. Are they just talking a good talk??

OP’s posts: |
bananasandwichcake Mon 05-Mar-18 20:26:36

Bumping to see if anyone else has any insights?

OP’s posts: |
millimat Mon 05-Mar-18 20:31:16

I agree with pp. DDs school (secondary) has awful progress scores atm, but speak to the head and the reasons are clear.
Schools are not all about numbers. I'm a teacher and our progress scores are good. However I do think there are times they are to the detriment of some children sad

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