School Data Updates

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Without feathers? My LA swan song.

By James Pembroke / October 29, 2014 / 0 Comments

So, that’s that then. Today was my last day working at Gloucestershire LA after nearly 5 years of wading neck deep in data; supporting schools, battling Ofsted, and trying not to make a nuisance of myself but generally failing. It’s been quite an experience being on the frontline of school improvement during this most challenging…

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The Good of Small Things

By James Pembroke / October 9, 2014 / 1 Comment

I recently sent out a tweet asking for thoughts and experiences relating to small schools, particularly regarding data. Now, I could have written a lengthy, and probably rather dull, blog on the subject of data and small schools but instead I thought I’d just publish the following email, which perfectly and succinctly summarises the problems…

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Improving school improvement: how LAs use FFT to support and challenge schools

By James Pembroke / September 23, 2014 / 6 Comments

Despite the reduction in scale and scope of local authority education services over the past few years, their school improvement remit remains. LAs have a responsibility to support and challenge schools, to intervene where necessary and to help drive up standards; the aim being for all pupils to have access to a good standard of…

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2B or not 2B, that is the question

By James Pembroke / September 16, 2014 / 9 Comments

I’ve visited a number of schools in the past couple of weeks and nearly all of them intend to continue tracking with levels for all cohorts for this term at least (fine for years 2 and 6, of course). This doesn’t surprise me – it’s the comfort of the familiar – but it’s a bodge…

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No attainment gaps please, we’re intelligent.

By James Pembroke / September 5, 2014 / 0 Comments

If there’s one phrase I hear in the course of my professional life that’s guaranteed to result in my forehead colliding with a desk multiple times in quick succession (or wall if I’m standing up), it’s ‘attainment gaps’, especially if it’s preceded by the words ‘can you provide me with some….’ and followed by a question…

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Attack of the Clones: are data people trying to replace levels with levels?

By James Pembroke / August 27, 2014 / 3 Comments

A couple of days ago the opening salvos of a war between good and evil were fired across the vast expanses of the Edutwitterverse. From their distant quantitative system of darkness, the number crunching legions of the Evil Empire of Analysis were positioning their Data Death Star in orbit around the peaceful and progressive Moon…

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Using on entry CAT tests in junior schools (and how I intend to buy new climbing shoes)

By James Pembroke / August 20, 2014 / 0 Comments

Some things in life are certain: death, taxes, getting a ‘sorry I missed you’ card from the postman when you’ve just nipped to the loo for 2 minutes. Oh, and having the conversation about the accuracy of infant schools’ KS1 results whenever you find yourself in the same room as a junior school headteacher. This…

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How to calculate L4+RWM

By James Pembroke / July 23, 2014 / 0 Comments

It’s that time of year again. I should have written this a few weeks ago when the results were made available on NCA tools but haven’t had a chance, so sorry about that.  Right, first of all, let’s bust a few myths and kill some (very) bad practice. This is how NOT to calculate L4+RWM:…

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VA calculator: confessions of a VA nerd

By James Pembroke / July 12, 2014 / 5 Comments

The latest VA calculator can be downloaded here Now in its fourth year, I thought I’d write a blog about my VA tool, which many schools use to calculate VA and to help with target setting. The original version came about in 2012 for two reasons: 1) I discovered, whilst giving a talk on RAISE to…

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Review: Insight Tracking system for primary schools

By James Pembroke / June 25, 2014 / 0 Comments There are loads of tracking systems available for schools now; and like the Ofsted judgements they seek to achieve (or avoid) they range from outstanding to inadequate. Many primary schools are now turning away from desktop-based systems (usually Excel) in favour of online solutions. Some of these online tools started life as a spreadsheet…

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