Primary accountability and VA Calculator 2021/22

The latest version of my VA calculator (suitable for use with 2021/22 data) can be downloaded here (it’s read only. Download and save a copy). Scroll to bottom of this post for more info. Please test and let me know if you find any errors. Also at the bottom of this post is a link to download an amended version, suitable for use with current Y6 data. Yes, I know it’s confusing but they keep changing everything.

Today saw the publication of the eagerly awaited primary accountability technical guidance, which provides details of how KS2 progress will be measured this year. Due to the pandemic, this is the first KS2 cohort to have progress measured from the ‘new’ KS1 assessments. As expected there are fewer prior attainment groups (19, down from 24 previously). The prior attainment groups are devised by assigning point scores to individual KS1 results, as follows:

  • PKF: 4 points
  • WTS: 6 points
  • EXS: 8 points
  • GDS: 10 points

Note that p-scales (still valid at KS1 in 2017/18) have the same point scores as 2019.

An average KS1 score for reading, writing and maths is then calculated. As in the previous methodology, maths is double-weighted to give it equal value to English. Whilst the 19 prior attainment groups have narrow KS1 point score ranges, a broader classification into low/middle/high prior attainment bands is given as:

  • Low prior attainment: <7
  • Middle prior attainment: 7-8
  • High prior attainment: >8

The general methodology for calculating VA remains the same: a pupil’s KS2 score is compared to the national average score for their prior attainment group. The following table provides the benchmark scores for each PAG.

As in previous years, extremely low negative scores are adjusted (see p33-38).

The other important (and predictable) piece of news is that the high score threshold remains at 110 (see p9).

See the VA calculator notes tab for more info and guidance on data entry. This tool is for analysis of 2021/22 progress data and won’t work for current Y6 pupils working below at KS1 due to the transition from interim to final pre-key stage standards and corresponding removal of P scales 5-8. I’ve created an amended version (i.e. guessed) for use with current year 6 (2022/23) pupils, which will recognise the new pre-key stage standards and generate prior attainment groups accordingly. Download it here.

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8 thoughts on “Primary accountability and VA Calculator 2021/22

  1. HT
    on September 5, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    I’m unable to edit the VA document when I open it. How do I change it from read only?

    1. James Pembroke
      on September 6, 2022 at 1:01 pm

      Hi. You need to download and save it. I’ve made it read only to prevent anyone from populating it with pupil details that will be there for others to see. You should be able to click file>save as (or you may have to click on three dots top right to download, depending on version).

  2. Dan Cawte
    on September 6, 2022 at 8:44 am

    Good morning,
    I’d love to take a look at this but the link isn’t working for me (just times out saying that the page took too long to respond – may be a firewall issue my end?)
    Any chance that I could have a link again or even emailed to me?
    Thank you so much

    1. James Pembroke
      on September 6, 2022 at 1:02 pm

      Hi Dan. I think this is a problem your end. Have you tried accessing on a different device? It opens on both my phone and laptop. Also tried on my wife’s phone and daughter’s laptop. If you still have no luck, come back to me.

  3. Julie West
    on September 11, 2022 at 12:12 pm

    This is absolutely brilliant! It has worked really well and is very easy to use. The only thing I cannot do is see progress data for my SEN support group. Not sure why? I have tried everything but it keeps saying I don’t have any.

    1. James Pembroke
      on October 20, 2022 at 7:59 am

      Hi. Really sorry for very late reply. I didn’t see your comment earlier. Did you put the SEN codes into the spreadsheet? I changed the acceptable code from S to K inline with DfE guidance. You may have been using an old version and perhaps that caused the problems.

  4. Vickie
    on September 14, 2022 at 9:23 am

    Thank you so much! I always use Sig+ as my go to for anything data related and you have done it again! This has saved me a lot of work and made the start of the year much easier.

    1. James Pembroke
      on October 20, 2022 at 7:57 am

      Thanks Vickie. That’s good to hear.

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