Provisional GCSE results data published – Friday 14 October 2016

This week I report on the publication of the provisional GCSE results data using the new accountability measures and the potential for a boycott of next year’s SATs by the unions, with an announcement expected from the DfE on primary assessments due at any time.

Analysis of provisional GCSE results data
Yesterday the Government published analysis of provisional GCSE results data which showed for the first time national analysis of Progress 8 scores and other measures in its new accountability system for schools.

From this year, schools are judged based on their attainment 8 and progress 8 scores, attainment in English and Maths and the number of pupils entering and achieving passes in the EBacc subjects (English, Maths, History or Geography, the sciences and a language). Progress 8 measures pupils’ progress across eight subjects from age 11 to 16, while attainment 8 measures average attainment across those subjects.

The data indicates attainment has increased across the headline measures in 2016 compared to the equivalent provisional data from 2015, both for all schools and state-funded schools. The DfE has suggested these increases are likely to be due to a range of factors including a range of behaviour changes as schools adapt to the new accountability system and changes in methodology.

Potential SATs boycott next year
Unions are stepping up their campaign to boycott next year’s SATs tests, with both the NAHT Heads’ union and the NUT teaching union writing to their school leadership members, outlining plans to carry out an indicative ballot this month. The unions plan to hold indicative ballots this month, in order to provide fair notice to members and if successful, the NAHT says a full ballot will be held in March next year.

The NAHT has said that it expects the Government to make some changes to the current assessment following union negotiations with the Department for Education. This seems to have been confirmed by the Education Secretary yesterday, who told delegates at the Schools North East Summit that there would be a new announcement about primary assessments in the next few weeks.