Good Progress 8 score or good GCSE results?? State secondaries(26 Posts)
I had all but decided on the order in which we would put down preferred schools for DD2 when the latest results were issued by the government for 2016 results, and now I am in a quandary.
Our favourite schools GCSE % score has gone down by a few percentage points, and school number 2s results have increased by almost 10%. However the Progress 8 score for our favourite school is 0.4 and that of the other school is 0.013.
I realise there are many other factors to take into account when choosing schools, but whereas these two schools had results that were on a par in 2015, the big difference in results has shaken my confidence in our current ranking of the schools.
But maybe it is better to go to a school with a better Progress 8 score than one that has done better than expected in their GCSE results? Does anyone have an opinion on this? Many thanks.
The second school didn't do better than expected in their GCSE results, the progress 8 scores suggest that they did pretty much exactly as you would expect given their Y11 starting points.
The favourite school results dropped, but the progress 8 scores suggest that that particular year group did better than expected.
Due to the confidence intervals, it is hard to put two schools side by side, compare their progress 8 scores and say that School A is better than School B, but the progress 8 score (although this is provisional) does seem to suggest that the drop in results for School A isn't because the school is going to the dogs.
What the results show you is that your favoured school managed to help the year group make good progress, even if their end results were less good than the previous cohort. Personally, I'd stick with the favoured school. The other school might have just got lucky with a particularly able year group.
In the end, what matters to you is what your own child gets - not what everyone else in the year group gets. You can drive yourself mad with statistics, but if you think the school's ethos is good, things will probably be OK.
Not based on any knowledge but this is the first year of the Progress 8 measurements, will all schools have fully adjusted to the new system. Is it reliable to look at this result?
I think that the progress 8 just highlights for parents what teachers have always said. 5 A*-C is not an accurate way to measure schools, too many schools coast with their middle class intakes. I'd always go for progress. Everyone wins in those schools.
In that I mean, schools that have always made good progress will still be doing so. Schools that have hidden behind their % A-C will be the ones caught out. I think the progress data is very reliable, even in this first year. Don't forget it represents what the school have been doing for that cohort since 2011. Not just since the govt. changed the goal posts.
Which school did you like best when you visited?
Is your child low, middle or high ability? How did each school do by the cohort he fits?
"too many schools coast with their middle class intakes. I'd always go for progress. Everyone wins in those schools."
I wouldn't make a decision based on those simple numbers.
DS could have gone to schools A, B or C. B was gushed over by local parents, historically best results & DS liked it best, fine. A 2nd best, C distant third.
By the time DS finished at school B, C was almost as good as B, but A had raced away making others look poor.
You can't predict.
Although Progress 8 is a better measure of progress compared to previous measures, it is still in it's infancy and I would still say is a little unreliable in it's first full year.
For some, it remains a measure of curriculum suitability to the measure over progression of the students and that may be due to a simple decision as to when the students chose their options, as if it is Year 8, then the school in all likelihood is at a disadvantage in this first year.
It will be a lot more interesting in January, when you can see the balance of P8 scores between English, Maths, Ebacc and Open subjects. This will tell us a lot more, from a data point of view.
I would go with your instinct.
And again, please don't forget that neither statistic necessarily tells you what level of qualifications student leave with, at the end of Y11.
Why is your favourite school your first choice? Do you feel it's the right choice for DC in what it has to offer?
Don't forget progress and GCSE results aren't just down to the school. It depends on your DC as well. My DC has a lovely friend who regularly doesn't do her homework, spends as little time as possible on coursework and admits she doesn't put in the extra time even though she can see where improvements can be made. She's forecasted to get mainly Ds, but for an extra bit of work surely there could be some Cs. My DC is the opposite, puts in fair too much time as she wants to try and include the detail or understand something which is tricky. She's predicted A*s, As and Bs.
I wouldn't change my mind based on these statistics. They don't necessarily predict how well your particular child will do in a few years time.
I wonder whether the difference is down to the particular subjects the pupils have studied. When I look at the tables for schools in my area, there does seem to be a correlation between having a higher EBacc percentage and a higher Performance 8 score.
Having said that how accurate are the Performance 8 averages? Are they really accurate to 3 decimal places (I doubt it).
A teacher friend suggested if you have middle or low ability children then the progress 8 score will give you a better idea of how well your child could do. A high ability child really wont make that much difference to the overall progress 8 score in a school so you could comfortably use the GCSE results to guide you in that instance.
As catslife said, is 3 decimal places going to be accurate? I wouldn't have thought so either. Any school above 0.0 is going to be good or better (why on earth they just didn't use 0 then 1, 2 etc I have no idea)
Incidentally my DS's high school had the best GCSE results in years this year with more students achieving A-C (including English and Maths) than at any other point in the schools history but its progress 8 score is a very disappointing - 0.5. They even got 5 students into Oxbridge Universities this year for the first time ever. I struggle to see how the progress 8 score is any use in our case given the actual exam results themselves.
Odins the whole point is that they clearly had a very able year group who did well compared to their previous cohorts ... but who should have done better.
You have to remember that more able children likely to make better progress than less able ie- be faster movers for want of a better expression.
So the school with a less able cohort is still going to be at a disadvantage next to a school with a cohort of more able children....
The progress of more able children will be compared to the progress of more able children nationally, and less able with less able. A school which does very well by its less able cohort will get a better progress 8 score than one with an able cohort that progresses about the same as the national more able cohort.
However, schools may get lower than expected progress 8 scores this year if GCSE options were not taken with progress 8 in mind. There's a maths bucket, an English bucket, 3 Ebacc buckets and 3 'other' buckets. If a student doesn't have 3 Ebacc subjects to put in the 3 Ebacc buckets then the empty buckets will score zero, bringing down that student's progress 8 score, even if that student got a string of A*s.
Performance 8 is the new Value added measure (see link)
Forgot to activate link schoolsweek.co.uk/the-progress-8-measure-explained/
Thanks for the link catslife - looks complicated!
This is some useful analysis for progress v attainment:
Ha! I was just coming on to post that link! The Prog8 doesn't help unless you can see Att8 too.
Choice of school is really down to the needs of the child. Some children will flounder horribly in a highly academic school, others will blossom.
The progress achieved by one cohort of children is misleading. They may be. The best cohort in the school, or the worst. Not every age group will be the same or progress at the same rate.
I would also consider the number of children sitting and getting the English Baccalaureate . Generally, brighter children go in for this and you have a great comparison tool on the government's web site too so you can compare lots of schools to see how the local ones compare.
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