Last month saw the publication of the unvalidated RAISEonline reports for 2012, which are commissioned by Ofsted to inform the inspection process.
School leaders need to ensure that they are fully up-to-speed with the latest developments, not only in preparation for an inspection but also as part of their regular cycle of self-evaluation.
On the outside, the summary report looks much like the 2011 version but there are a few significant changes and, as ever, it is important to remember what additional information can be gleaned from the online reports.
Free school meals have changed to “FSM6” to include pupils who have claimed FSM at any time in the past six years. This could make a considerable difference to your FSM attainment gap. Some of the 2011 FSM data has also been recalculated to give some trend information.
The Narrowing the Gaps summaries in Section 6 do not show what the national NFSM/FSM gap for five-plus A* to C including English and maths (ACEM) was in 2012. If you go online, however, to the threshold report “KS4.4a”, this shows a provisional gap of 26 percentage points.
How does your gap compare? Remember that a small gap is not always a good thing – it could hide the fact that both groups are underperforming. The FSM/CLA (children looked after) pupil category now provides a second year’s dataset to show the performance of your Pupil Premium pupils.
Two of Ofsted’s set questions are “what have you spent your Pupil Premium on?” and “what has the impact been?”. The summary report will give you a start on this but you could also look at using the online “custom filters” to drill down more closely to show the impact of particular interventions.
There is a new “non-mobile” pupil category which shows the performance of those who were with you throughout years 10 and 11, a useful additional measure if you have high pupil mobility.
There is another new chart (4.1.23) that shows the impact of early entry in maths, although table 4.1.24 is easier to interpret. This relates to another key Ofsted question; however, inspectors will also ask about early entry in English, so make sure you have that information ready, too.
The exclusions data refers to 2011, so once again it is important to have your own analyses available for 2012 and for this year. There is often some confusion with what can appear to be two different pass rates and average point scores (APS).
For example, the APS for English on page 27 is based on those who entered the subject; the figure on page 46 will include the whole cohort as it is an EBacc measure. Similarly, the subject scatter charts showing value-added progress only include pupils taking EBacc-eligible subjects.
Religious studies, therefore, will not be reflected in the humanities charts and only those pupils who took English and science combinations which qualify for the EBacc will be there. Going online provides access to many additional resources.
For example the “Prognostic KS4” report (look under “Thresholds”) shows how your 2012 five-plus ACEM figure would look if the 2014 GCSE equivalences were applied now. The online reports also allow you to drill down into more complex pupil groupings (for example boys on FSM) and to add filters of your own choosing, such as “pupils who received one-to-one tuition”.
The pupil listings help to answer many queries about what is included in the reports and why by giving a breakdown of each pupil’s performance, and the Library section provides comprehensive background information on how RAISE is calculated.
The Transition Matrices are another little-known online resource (look under “Target-Setting”). They show the percentage of students reaching each grade in all GCSE subjects from every sub-level starting point at key stage 2. This is an invaluable aid for both self-evaluation and target-setting. And remember that the minimum expected progress of your current year 7 pupils with the new Level 6 at key stage 2 will be a grade A at key stage 4.
Your school’s RAISE administrator can produce an alternative set of data to show the impact of any appeals or regrading without having to wait for the validated version of RAISE later in the year. You can then recreate any RAISE report using your revised data. Remember, Ofsted has no access to the online version of RAISE.
Once the performance tables are published this month, schools will have four weeks in which to request amendments to be made. However, any changes will not be reflected in the validated version of RAISE which could make it doubly important that you take advantage of the “school’s own data” option.
Inspections invariably start from the expected progress matrices in RAISE but schools need to ensure that they present inspectors with the data which best helps to tell their school’s story. This might include reports from RAISEonline interactive, your own tracking data for years 7 to 11, and selected highlights from Fischer Family Trust. The RAISE summary report is only the start…