This year, the government changed the way that children are assessed. When looking at the data for 2016, it’s important to bear in mind the advice from the Department for Education that it can’t be compared with previous years:
“Children sitting key stage 2 tests this year were the first to be taught and assessed under the new national curriculum. The expected standard has been raised and the accountability framework for schools has also changed. These changes mean that the expected standard this year is higher and not comparable with the expected standard used in previous year’s statistics. It would therefore be incorrect and misleading to make direct comparisons showing changes over time.”
Following the considerable changes to the structure of assessment at KS2 from summer 2016, the performance data for all primary schools is no longer presented as national curriculum levels. Instead, levels have been removed and in their place is a national ‘Expected Standard’ for Year 6 children to meet. This standard is met by achieving at least 100 on a scaled score in reading; spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG); and mathematics in SAT tests. Further, children who achieve a score of 110+ on the scaled score are identified as attaining a ‘Higher Standard’. Outcomes in writing are measured by assessments made by teaching staff.
The progress measure for the year group indicates whether the children, collectively, have made progress ‘below’, ‘in line with’ or ‘above’ progress expectations nationally. A progress score of 0 means pupils in school, on average, do about as well at key stage 2 as those with similar prior attainment nationally. A positive score means pupils in school on average do better at key stage 2 than those with similar prior attainment nationally while a negative score means pupils in school on average do less well at key stage 2 than those with similar prior attainment nationally. Most schools’ progress scores fall in the range of -5 to +5.