School Data Updates

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Assessment by numbers

By James Pembroke / December 6, 2018 / 1 Comment

I once sat in on a series of demos of primary school tracking systems for a large MAT. At lunchtime the CEO – a secondary head by trade – sat with his head in his hands and asked: “how have we reached the point where we have so little faith in teachers’ judgement that we…

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Converting 2018 KS2 scaled scores to standardised scores

By James Pembroke / November 6, 2018 / 1 Comment

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 assumption is that 100 on a standardised test (eg from NFER) is…

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2018 ASP summary template for primary schools

By James Pembroke / October 24, 2018 / 4 Comments

2018 version of ASP summary template free to download here. Some tweaks on last year’s template – now takes account of time series and 3 year average. Feel free to modify, copy and share. Just credit the source and please download it first before attempting to complete it (it will open in Word online. To…

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Making expected progress?

By James Pembroke / October 20, 2018 / 0 Comments

’Expected progress’ was a DfE accountability measure until 2015. Inspectors must not use this term when referring to progress for 2016 or current pupils. Ofsted Inspection Update, March 2017. It’s an odd phrase, expected progress, as it seems to have two meanings. First, there is the expectation of the teacher, which is based on an in-depth…

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By James Pembroke / October 18, 2018 / 0 Comments

Here’s a thing. In conversations with senior leaders both online and in the real world, I often get asked about restricting access to data for teaching staff or even locking down tracking systems entirely. This seems to take two broad themes: 1) Limiting a teacher’s access to data that relates only to those pupils for…

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The Progress Delusion

By James Pembroke / September 21, 2018 / 0 Comments

I recently spoke to a headteacher of a primary school judged by Ofsted to be ‘requiring improvement’. The school has been on an assessment journey in the last couple of years, ditching their old tracking system with its ’emerging-developing-secure’ steps and expected progress of three points per year (i.e. levels), in favour of a simpler…

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2018 KS2 VA Calculator free to download

By James Pembroke / September 4, 2018 / 5 Comments

I’ve updated the VA calculator to take account of changes to methodology this year. This includes new standard deviations and estimated outcomes, and the capping of extreme negative progress scores. I have referred to this as adjusted and unadjusted progress; and the tool shows both for pupils and for the whole cohort. Note that extreme…

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New year, new direction

By James Pembroke / September 3, 2018 / 3 Comments

I’ve got a new job! After much deliberation I have accepted a position with Equin Ltd, the lovely people behind Insight Tracking. I’ve got to know Sarah and Andrew (directors) very well over the last few years and it’s no secret that I am a big fan of their system, which I’ve recommended to many…

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What I think a primary tracking system should do

By James Pembroke / July 9, 2018 / 4 Comments

I talk and write a lot about the issues with primary tracking systems: that many have reinvented levels, and are often inflexible and overly complicated. Quite rightly this means I get challenged to define what a good system looks like, and it’s a tricky question to answer, but I think I’m getting there now. I’ve…

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VA Calculator: excel version free to download

By James Pembroke / July 9, 2018 / 4 Comments

With KS2 results about to be released on NCA Tools (10th July, 07.30) I thought I’d publish a link to the latest excel version of my VA calculator. This version, with pupil group tables for progress and average scores, can be downloaded here. To use the VA calculator, you will need to download first (it…

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