# Talk

(12 Posts)
wordassociationfootball Fri 05-Oct-12 14:50:32

Our favourite secondary has 998 for 2011. How bad a sign is this? When will stats for 2012 be released? And finally, do VA scores change much year to year?

ATailOfTwoKitties Fri 05-Oct-12 16:43:31

Well, it means your school slipped below 'expected' progress by 2 points out of a thousand. So unless you have a really, really big year group, I'd say it means that about 4 kids out of 200 (assuming 10-ish GCSEs) didn't get the expected grades.

No idea how to do a more complicated calculation than that! Maybe it goes per kid not per exam result, anyway, in which case it mean 'near as dammit all kids do just as you'd expect'.

There are confidence intervals around the actual quoted figure and this spread will depend on the number in the cohort but I would probably agree with twokitties that on an average a handful of pupils did not reach the standard they were expected to based on the overall average improvement of pupils at that level at KS2.
Is this a problem? well if it this kind of figure every year then it suggests that the school does have a bit of problem in making sure that it caters for all its pupils. It could be that it is a particular set of pupils who are under performing e.g. higher attaining pupils.
The VA figures can change from one year to another so it is best not to attribute to much to just one year's VA figure but look at the trend over the last three years. The 2012 figures will be released when the relevant department is happy that they are OK. Given the current shambles over english and maths gcse results I would not be surprised if you could be waiting quite a long time!

noblegiraffe Fri 05-Oct-12 18:51:08

1000 means the school was bang on expectations. 6 points is one grade in one subject, so a value added of 994 means that on average each kid at the school got one grade below their expected grade in one subject, and a value added of 1006 means on average each child achieved one grade higher than expected in one GCSE.

998 means on average one child in three achieved one grade lower in one GCSE than expected. Not terrible.

Sat 06-Oct-12 18:04:29

I found the VA number by KS2 cohort also useful. They split the students statistics into Low attainers (kids that left primary behind average), middle attainers and high attainers. The stats then show you how many kids were in each category and how well the secondary school did at both adding value and the actual average results achieved for each group.

So, for example, our closest comprehensive has a heavy weighting to low attainers and does a good job getting them to pass 5 GCSEs (just!) but it doesn't do so well with a very small minority of high attainers (VA figures well below 1000)

Sat 06-Oct-12 18:17:27

Is split cohort data on Ofsted website?

blondefriend Sat 06-Oct-12 21:06:20

Don't forget that many grammar schools will automatically slip below this number as their cohort is so high that they need to get 6+ A* at GCSEs to hit their targets. Even if a single child misses this for whatever reason then it means the grade will go down but because no child can get higher than an A* then it is difficult to "average out".

tiggytape Sat 06-Oct-12 23:03:17

Value Added is based on Year 6 SATS which can make them unreliable to an extent for some schools.
If a secondary school has an intake from 1 or 2 primary schools that heavily tutor their Year 6 for SATS exams, that secondary school may then find it harder to make the expected rates of progress with some of those children.

Secondary schools do not take SATS results as gospel because they know some primaries spend months (literally months) doing endless mock exams and teaching for the tests to get all their pupils through at a good level (especially the borderline level 3's / 4's).
The secondary school may have children start who have been awarded a level 4 but who do not work securely at that level at all. Despite this, they cannot downgrade that child and have to work to not only get them to a genuine level 4 but then progress them even more quickly to the next level because for Value Added purposes that child was a level 4 from day 1 so if they end Year 7 on a level 4, they've made no progress.

Secondary schools that take all their pupils from neighbouring super-schools that push and push to get more of the Year 6's a level 5 therefore can have a bit of a nightmare ever getting Value Added to look worthwhile even though the children are making progress.

This is also true for schools with high turnovers. If the cleverest kids at a school all go off to grammar or private in Year 9 it can look like a whole lot of clever kids started in Year 7 but the same year group didn't get the great GCSE results expected. The figures ignore the fact that they aren't comparing the exact same children from Year 7 all the way through to Year 11.

noblegiraffe Sun 07-Oct-12 09:29:03

tiggy, while I totally agree that secondaries can have problems with their value added if the primary schools inflate KS2 SATs scores through hothousing, I'm not sure of your last paragraph. Each child comes with their own GCSE targets attached, calculated from their KS2 results. I thought that it was the individual targets for each student in Y11 which were used to calculate the value added, rather than the profile of the year group as it started in Y7.

tiggytape Sun 07-Oct-12 09:38:30

Yes sorry - I went off on a tangent there noble. Value Added scores can be messed up for a secondary school if their intake has been hothoused for the KS2 SATS.

Children leaving part way through a school is more likely to be a problem for primary schools because their KS1 and KS2 data can be compared with no reference to whether the same children sat the Year 6 SATS as sat the Year 2 ones (as can happen in areas where children leave to go private or to selective schools between taking one exam and the other). A child can join in Year 6 and be included in the statistics even though the school can hardly accept the credit or the blame for any score that child achieves.

At secondary level individual tracking helps here but doesn’t help in cases where children join Year 7 with an allocated level from their SATS that is far higher than their actual ability. Some schools have more of these pupils than others depending on which primary schools feed their intake.

bulby Sun 07-Oct-12 09:51:48

Also be aware of schools with high cva scores. Often the way to inflate them is to push every child through 1 or more btecs. As long as all the work is completed it is virtually impossible to fail them- so a pupil enters high school predicted Fs and Gs is entered for a btec and achieves a pass which = 2 or 4 C grade equivalents and voilà the cva score goes through the roof. Sorry if that sounds cynical but I've worked in a school where exactly that happened cva score was 1042. As people have said, it's virtually impossible for a school with an academic intake to score above 1000 as they cannot beat their target of A*.

Mon 22-Oct-12 16:32:17

I found the stats on education . Gov . UK

Main>Schools>Results

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