Am looking for a school for DS1 for next year. Am looking at the SATS table for the local schools and wondered what I should be looking for. What does 'average point score' actually mean? And what does 'Value added measure' mean? What other things should I be looking for? Help!
Have you found the explanation on the BBC news website? here It is the fullest explanation I've found, although it's still a bit mind-boggling.
But to be quite honest, my top tip would be don't spend too much time trying to decipher league tables. Go and look at the school and get a feel for how your child will fit in. Remember that it doesn't matter how well the other children are doing - only whether yours is meeting their potential. And that has a lot to do with whether they are happy and whether you are supporting them at home as anything else.
If you are visiting a school with apparently poor results, ask them what the background is. Get a feel for whether they are really doing their best for each individual child, because that's what really matters.
Just my perspective, having decided to send DD1 to our most local school, where she is nevertheless comfortably exceeding Govt expectations for her age group, despite the fact that it is almost at the bottom of the league tables for this area. It just had an atmosphere that seemed right for her, and so far our gut reaction has paid off.
My experience is same as smithagain. DS#1 did OK at low in the league table school with a good Ofsted. DD is doing exceptionally well at the same school.
VA is important IMO as it tells you how well they do with the intake they receive - ie if a school is in a deprived area and the pupils on intake have lower ability levels, a VA indicates how much they have built on that start. Which might well be more than a school in a 'better' area.