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(6 Posts)
stubiff Wed 22-Jun-16 12:49:11

Hopefully most of you are aware that the attainment of a pupil (on average), and therefore school, is directly related to their prior attainment (say GCSE attainment and KS2 prior attainment).
There are quite a few posts along the lines of ‘a bright pupil should do well at any school’, so I thought I’d dig into the Gov data to see if it may be true.
For it to be true then the Progress of a pupil should be the same whichever school is selected.

The attached graph shows that a high (prior) attainer (High line) will do better at schools with a similar (to themselves) cohort. For low and middle prior attainers, they will do better in schools with a higher prior attainment cohort. All this is on average.

For context, the Value Add (Progress) measure is based on an average of around 1000, and as it is derived by comparing against other schools, not a standard value, then there will always be lower, and higher, than average values (regardless of whether all schools are progressing their pupils well).

And before anyone says, well my child is ‘this’ and they’re doing brilliantly at ‘that’ school – please remember we’re talking ‘averages’ here!

eyebrowse Wed 22-Jun-16 16:43:06

We are living in a situation where the elites have detached from the rest of society. They may have done better at school and got top jobs but they have now created a situation where we may be about to vote ourselves into an economic downturn and global turmoil through leaving the EU. Thus there is progress and progress...

TeenAndTween Wed 22-Jun-16 16:51:16

So I think what you are saying is that the graphs show:
1) bright kids do better at grammar schools,
2) but everyone else would do better if there weren't any grammars,
3) and the ones who miss out most with the grammar system are the kids from poorly performing primaries who just miss out on a grammar school.

I assert that this shows a need to abolish grammars.
(Sits back and waits)

stubiff Thu 23-Jun-16 13:02:32

Teen, wasn't doing the graph in respect of Grammar schools, but to try to see if there was a link between (prior) attainment and progress.

A couple of reasons why a pupil might progress more at a higher prior attainment school:
- fewer classroom 'distractions', so more teaching time
- pupils may have more ability, and/or the wanting, to progress.

To answer this question:
1) bright kids do better at grammar schools

The selective schools (163) cover the range 30.4 - 33.4 KS2 APS. The highest value for a non-selective school is 31.5 (So the 32 and 33 values are only selective schools).
Comparing the overlap range of 30.4 - 31.5, then the progress values are:
Non-selective (High) 1014
Selective (High) 1012
So, no, bright kids will do just as well at a similar non-selective school. However, the sample size is very low.

bojorojo Thu 23-Jun-16 23:46:16

Type of school is less important than fantastic teaching. You may well be comparing apples and pears with regard to different schools even with similar looking cohorts of children on entry. Middle attainers are a very wide group. Also some selective schools take 2% whilst others take 33% of a local school population. Some secondary modern schools may have 35% high strainers - they do around here! And that is with the grammar schools having taken plenty of high strainers.

There has been research on how much more challenging it is to get a C at GCSE if the pupil's prior attainment is the old 4c or below. To make any sense of progress made you have to look at every individual school and there is a league table which indicates the 100 worst performing schools in the country. I doubt they are full of outstanding teachers and inspirational leadership. Prior attainment is only part of the picture.

stubiff Fri 24-Jun-16 12:45:05


The graph is made up of each individual state mainstream school.
I wasn't saying that prior attainment was the only picture, however the graph is based on that as it is easily obtained data, where attainment is related to prior attainment, and by definition progress should be as well.

The graph was to ask the question 'why is it that way'. Quality of teaching comes into the 'why', and you're implying that the better schools have better teachers, which may be true.

Comparing individual schools is like comparing apples, pears, bananas, etc. They all have different cohorts, different teachers, different procedures, etc, so one can't say for definite which one factor(s) makes a school 'better'.

I am lucky (for analysis purposes) that my two local state schools have very similar prior attainment (but obviously may have a different mix of cohort). One produces better results and progress than the other, hence my other thread about why they could be different (Boys results are significantly different between them).
The teaching, procedures, processes, etc, will contribute to that difference.

There will, of course, be high progressing schools with low prior attainment and vice versa. There will be some fantastic teaching in low prior attainment schools. There will be naff teaching in high prior attainment schools.

On average, that word again, more progress is made in higher prior attainment schools.

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