Do you know these 5 key things about data? Pt.2

As promised  ‘5 Key things about data Pt2 follows the post on 10th April & is the second of the 5 part series by James Pembroke. Do check the original post as it contains more details of the sources of data.

5 key things about data


Part 1  dealt with statutory assessment – the data that the DfE collects from primary schools.

In part 2 we’re going to look at the main sources of data that governors should be aware of: the key reports, when they’re made available, who has access, and what they contain.


1) Results day
Published first week in July
Availability: Secure NCA Tools website. Login required. No access for governors.
Schools receive pupils’ KS2 test scores via the NCA Tools website and a summary of results. Not in public domain

2) Checking exercise
Published 31st August/1st September
Availability: Secure Data Checking website. Login required. No access for governors.
Data checking website opens for schools to check and query results. Also contains pupils’ progress scores and a summary sheet of all results to be shown in the performance tables. Not in public domain.

3) The Performance Tables
Published annually in December
Availability: Public domain. Requires no login.
Often referred to as the league tables, it is important to note that this is the only publicly available data source on the list. Information on most schools in England can be found here
For secondary school data it is a fantastic resource, and contains nearly as much as ASP. For primary schools it is more limited and only contains data for key stage 2 (KS2). There is no school level data for early years foundation stage (EYFS), phonics (PSC), or key stage 1 (KS1) contained in the performance tables.
The performance tables contain the following data for KS2
  • % attaining expected standard in reading, writing and maths (single combined measure)
  • % attaining higher standard in reading, writing and maths (single combined measure)
  • Average scaled scores (two separate measures)
  • Average progress scores in reading, writing and maths (three separate measures)
The school results are shown alongside the national and local authority figures in all cases except for progress (note: progress is a relative measure and schools are compared to 0. This will be explained in the next blog). The performance tables now contain the past 2 years results (2016 and 2017) for all key measures – scroll down to dropdown links below main results.
The main page of performance tables is essential information for governors and it’s worth printing it out.
4) Analyse School Performance (ASP)
Published annually in October/November and updated with later released data (eg EYFSP and attendance) and validated data (December)
Availability: Secure site requiring login.
ASP replaced RAISEonline and is not publicly accessible. Governors can be granted access but – please take note – only to the anonymised version of the system, which contains no pupil-level data. It is a fairly simple system and, apart from extended data on pupil groups and individual subjects, it does not provide much more than the performance tables in terms of KS2 data. It does, however, contain results for EYFSP, phonics and KS1, and presents them in the familiar, performance tables-style format with national and LA comparators. From a governor point of view, ASP does not have a great deal to offer and governors are advised to focus more on the Ofsted Inspection Data Summary Report (IDSR).
5) Inspection Data Summary Report (IDSR)
Published annually in October/November
Availability: Download via ASP. Login required.
The IDSR, which replaced the Ofsted Dashboard, is an inspector’s key source of school data and is therefore essential reading for governors. It is a PDF document downloaded from ASP and is not in the public domain. The front page of the report lists areas to investigate – which rather confusingly may be positive or negative statements – and shows if the school is below floor standards or deemed to be ‘coasting’. The  pages contain contextual information about the school including absence, exclusions, deprivation, numbers of pupils in certain key groups, and prior attainment of cohorts in reading, writing and maths.
In all cases, comparisons are made against national figures. Unlike in ASP and performance tables, local authority comparators do not feature in IDSR.
To sum up, the IDSR is not the most user friendly report, but it is essential that governors are familiar with it. Schools need to devote time to IDSR training for governors.
6) FFT Dashboards
Published September and updated with validated data.
Availability: Secure site. Subscription to FFT required. Governor login available. 
FFT data is published earlier than other reports and is presented in a clear, accessible format, which makes it an attractive option for many schools. FFT dashboards provide analysis of KS1 and KS2 data; they do not provide analysis of phonics or EYFSP. FFT compare results to national figures (attainment) but they also compare them to an estimated outcome based on pupils’ start points (progress). This means that a low prior attaining cohort may have results that are below national average, but above the estimated outcome (low attainment. high progress). Equally, a high prior attaining cohort may have results that are above national average but below the estimated outcome(high attainment, low progress).  If your school has an FFT subscription, it’s definitely worth taking a look at FFT dashboards.
Coming up – KS1-2 progress measures in reading, writing and maths

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