Secondary school accountability | Pearson qualifications

Secondary school accountability consultation for schools in England: summary and FAQs

20 February 2013

The DfE published a consultation paper on secondary school accountability on Thursday 7 February, alongside the revisions to the GCSE reforms.

This paper contained some significant developments to the government's proposals for changing the way secondary schools in England are measured - in particular, proposals for wider accountability measures.

It's important to note that these proposals are at consultation stage and are not, as yet, official policy.

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In summary, the consultation is proposing:

  • Data Portal: To publish extensive data about secondary schools through a new Data Portal.
  • Percentage of students passing English and mathematics: To publish a measure showing the percentage of pupils achieving a ‘pass’ in English and mathematics. This measure should be part of the floor standard.
  • Average point score eight measure: To publish an ‘average point score eight’ measure. It should have one slot reserved for each of English and mathematics, and three slots reserved for other EBacc subjects: sciences, computer science, geography, history and languages. The remaining three slots could be taken up by further qualifications from the range of EBacc subjects, or any other high value arts, academic, or vocational qualifications (as set out in the Department’s list of vocational qualifications approved for inclusion in performance tables).
  • Value-Added progress measure: To base the key progress measure on these eight qualifications, and calculate it using a Value-Added method, using end of Key Stage 2 results in English and mathematics as a baseline. This progress measure should be part of the floor standard.
  • Threshold and progress measures: That schools should have to meet a set standard on both the threshold and progress measure to be above the floor.
  • Sample tests at Key Stage 4: To introduce sample tests in Key Stage 4 to track national standards over time.

This would mean that the current floor standard of the percentage of students achieving five A*-C (including English and mathematics) would change to the two new measures:

  • threshold percentage achieving English and mathematics, and
  • broader progress measure based on eight qualifications including English and mathematics.

The intention is to 'provide a strong incentive for schools to offer a broad and balanced curriculum … by rewarding schools more clearly for their work with all their pupils.'

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