The Department for Education will change the methodology for its new headline secondary accountability measure, Progress 8, following mounting pressure from schools.
Earlier this year,Tes revealed that a growing number of heads have raised fears about how much a school’s overall Progress 8 score can be distorted by poor performance from just a handful of pupils.
And a policy document released by the Department for Education (DfE) today reveals that it intend to make a change to the Progress 8 methodology from next year in light of these concerns.
Meanwhile, this year the DfE has said it will:
- Work with the sector on the best approach in the autumn;
- Ensure that those working with school data – including Ofsted, regional schools commissioners and local authorities – are aware of the potential impact on a school’s Progress 8 score of pupils with extremely negative progress scores;
- Ensure that the impact of pupils with extremely negative scores on Progress 8 will be taken into account where a school is below the floor standard or coasting.
Progress 8 was designed by the government to be fairer by taking into account the achievements of pupils of all abilities, not just those who achieve five or more A*-C grades at GCSE – and is used for high-stakes secondary school floor targets.
But the measure, based on average progress across a school, means that pupils who take no exams, or hardly any, can do significantly more damage to the school’s overall score than under previous measures.