School Data Updates

Subscribe to receive email updates when new blog posts are published.

The thorny issue of tracking in Early Years

By James Pembroke / October 5, 2020 / 0 Comments

Tracking in the Early Years Foundation Stage is a mess. We’re not talking about statutory assessment here – of the Reception Baseline and the Foundation Stage Profile. This is about day-to-day data collection, especially across the reception year, for the purpose of monitoring pupil progress. I use the phrase ‘day-to-day’ deliberately because let’s admit it:…

Read More

The problem with progress: a guide for governors

By James Pembroke / July 16, 2020 / 7 Comments

Six years on from the government announcing its intention to get rid of levels, many schools are still struggling with the issue of how best to measure progress. An increasing number, however, are coming to realise an inconvenient truth: that maybe it just can’t be done and any attempt to do so is a waste…

Read More

What is a tracking system for?

By James Pembroke / July 3, 2020 / 0 Comments

Before I get started answering this question, I want to make one thing clear: I’m not keen on the word ‘tracking’ in the context of school data management. I think it’s slightly sinister and misleading. Tracking is what hunters do; and what the military does with missiles. I think we need a better name. How…

Read More

Primary school accountability: a manifesto for change

By James Pembroke / May 30, 2020 / 0 Comments

If there was ever a time to review the nature and purpose of primary school accountability measures, it is now. No data will be collected this year: no early years foundation stage profile, no phonics outcomes, no key stage 1 teacher assessments , no multiplication tables check scores, no key stage 2 results. There will…

Read More

A shaggy dog story

By James Pembroke / April 27, 2020 / 0 Comments

Once, whilst out running in the Cotswold Hills, I was approached through the woods by a family with three terriers. Two of the dogs were out in front, jostling for position, neither particularly interested in me; and bringing up the rear several metres behind the family was a much older one, ambling along at his…

Read More

Ofsted Infographics: a look at inspection outcomes under current and previous frameworks

By James Pembroke / March 10, 2020 / 0 Comments

I’ve recently been posting a series of infographics of Ofsted inspection data on my timeline. This has prompted a lot of discussion so I thought it would be useful to publish them all in one place here. First, here’s a breakdown of the various categories of inspection that have taken place under the new EIF…

Read More

Why set targets?

By James Pembroke / February 21, 2020 / 2 Comments

There is a concept in urban design known as shared space. It involves the removal of much of the street furniture – signage, painted lines, bollards, traffic lights and barriers – to improve safety. The boundaries between the different zones of use – for pedestrians, bikes, and cars – are blurred, and road users become…

Read More

Data is not dead

By James Pembroke / January 24, 2020 / 0 Comments

Reports of data’s death have been greatly exaggerated. It’s over a year since Ofsted announced their intention to no longer take the schools’ internal tracking data into consideration during inspections. I wrote this post at the time, outlining my thoughts, and on balance I still think it’s a good idea: it should cause schools to…

Read More

Reforming the Performance Tables

By James Pembroke / December 17, 2019 / 0 Comments

There was a time when I believed that a 101 page RAISE report was an essential and accurate summary of a school’s performance; that floor standards were vital; that children really did make a point of progress each term; that there really was such a thing as a 3b+; that the performance tables told us…

Read More

Converting 2019 KS2 scaled scores to standardised scores

By James Pembroke / November 11, 2019 / 0 Comments

Many schools are using standardised tests from the likes of NFER, GL and Rising Stars to monitor attainment and progress of pupils, and to predict outcomes; and yet there is lot of confusion about how standardised scores relate to scaled scores. The common misconception is that 100 on a standardised test (eg from NFER) is…

Read More