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FFT data- How is it used in your school?

Discussion in 'Assessment' started by JonStokes, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. JonStokes

    JonStokes New commenter

    At school we have been put into groups for our meeting times to find stuff out that we're interested in. Ive decided to rebel and look at how FFT dta is used in schools, because we use it like it is sent from the Lord and not to be messed with.
    For example, we use FFTd and that is our target for use with performance management and the students. So that is based upon what they did at primary school to set targets for GCSE in year 10.
    eg. If a kid has FFTd of A*, that is his target. FULLSTOP. Even if they have been working well below that in years 7-9. We as teachers are then judged on that.
    Im trying to build evidence that we do not use it correctly. Even the Fischer Family Trust guidlines say they are estimates an dnot to be used a straight targets.

    So would really be interested in how everyone else uses it, if at all.
  2. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

    Have a look at the FFT website to find the probabilities of various grades for your pupils. This data will provide you with ammunition to defend yourself with.
    FFT is only a starting point for targets.
    A school should be prepared to put an individual pupil's targets up or down in the light of its experience of the pupil. It should store a note of why and when a target was changed, and the justification for change.
  3. JonStokes

    JonStokes New commenter

    Yeh we use FFTd, which is how the top 25% of schools perform and we never hit it. It a quesiton or morale at our school, all the staff are de motivated and down, because we are constantly told we arent doing good enough based on these targets.

    Thanks for the reply

  4. emkay

    emkay New commenter

    In my opinion, FFT data is only useful in setting targets for English, maths and science and KS3 and 4. How on earth an FFT target can be set for art or music at KS4 from the student's KS2 results is beyond me.As for using the FFT, in my school, it is flexible .... students can be moved up and down dependent on past performance but you need evidence of previous performance to justify your decision ( most targets are moved down ;-) ). These targets are then used in the performance management of teachers.A final piece of advice though. Our LEA produce a poster for students outlining the importance of attendance. It states that if students have less than 90% attendance then they will (on average) achieve a grade lower at GCSE - a good 'get-out' clause if students underachieve!PS I have never understood why schools use FFT when they are put into league tables using CVA. Why are we not judged on CVA figures? Any one know the reason for this?
  5. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

    FFT is based on last year's national results
    CVA is based on this year's which are not available when you are being judged.
  6. dstokem

    dstokem New commenter

    Not to mention that FFT are not targets and should not be taken as such because they are estimates which are not set in stone.
  7. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

    Quite right. Estimate and target are not the same thing, or need not be.
    Actually, the estimate <u>is</u> set in stone. They feed in some facts and figures at one end of a computer program and the estimate comes out at the other.
    But the use you make of this estimate is up to you.
    As for estimates for music, etc. - I presume there is some correlation between KS1 performance in English and Maths with musical ability. Can't see any other justification.
    But with a subject like music, it is even more obvious that the to the estimate must be added your knowledge of the child before a target is set. If he is tone deaf, for example, however well he did in KS2 English would not matter much.
    What you've got to do is find some factors about your children that drag them down but are not included in the FFT criteria.
    If you don't find one yourself, then SMT will do it for you - and you can bet your boots that the factor they find will be your bad teaching!

  8. JonStokes

    JonStokes New commenter

    Thanks for all the replies.

    Does anyone work in an 'outstanding' school that uses FFTd correctly. I need to visit school which use it properley so i can build a proper air tight case. Our school is obsessed with OFSTED so if i can get to outstanding schools who dont use it like us then they wont have much of an arguement.

  9. Not a comprehensive or technical answer but in my school FFTd is used as target for each student in each subject and then (as in my case) it is used as a measuring stick to establish that you are not teaching properly as collective class targets were not reached!
  10. We had a similar issue with FFT d targets. They are useful to use as a check but it is more important to use your own baseline data from year 7 and year 9 to monitor pupil progress.
    The reason you should only use them as estimates is that pupils don't make progress in all their subjects in the same way. In particular they specialise at key stage 4 so it isn't very sensible to judge their progress in say D&T or drama from their levels in English and maths when they were in year 6.
    We are using CMIS with 4Matrix this year and we have gone over to using it instead of tracking against FFT. It works by looking at residual and variation for every class which we have found is a much fairer way to look at teaching. It comes with some superb free CPD materials. I have been recommending it to colleagues in other schools. It is the best thing I have seen for assessment at key stage 4. You can get a free trial. I am told it works better with SIMS but we found it easy enough to use.
  11. Pretty much the same as everyone else really - FFT data used to generate targets for end of KS3 and GCSE...
    Would agree with earlier poster though that schools should be able to alter the target given earlier experiences of the student.
    One big problem though is when teaching staff are generous when assessing at the end of KS3 so that it makes them look good/hit targets - the target grades for the current Y10s are off the wall!

  12. jonwhale - we also use 4matrix instead of FFT. It is a much better way to track students through key stage 4. We use their results at end of year 9 as the baseline. We are not convinced that key stage 2 levels are reliable enough to create key stage 4 targets from. If departments over estimate at year 9 then it will make their job more difficult at key stage 4.
  13. Thanks for all these useful tips. We have been trying to improve our approach from just using the Fischer Family targets. They are too high for many students and in some subjects they just don't relate to the progress that we are seeing. Thanks too for reminding me of 4 Matrix. I have been asking my data manager to evaluate this ever since I saw it talked about on this website. I will go back and ask again.
  14. Look into using Jesson data
  15. Batsheep

    Batsheep New commenter

    We only glance at FFT for whole cohort and this is why: the estimate for the current Y11 is for 101% to achieve an A*-C at GCSE English. Even Ofsted can't complain when we fail to meet that one.
  16. we are an outstanding school that uses fftd if you want to contact me.

  17. JonStokes

    JonStokes New commenter

    Thank you for all the repliesm it really helps.

    agoddard, what is the rest of your email please?
  18. Hi Jon

    I wonder if you have tried 4Matrix yet?

    It is working really well in getting schools from satisfactory to outstanding and if you'd like help we now do quite a lot of training on how to nail the inspection team when they come in - you will know way more than they can possibly know about every single pupil demographic, which is what has replaced CVA in the new inspection framework.

    Anyway - I do work with the 4Matrix team, so I would be biased, but we now have over 300 schools using it and they absolutely love it - works with SIMS as well as CMIS and even basic spreadsheets...

    Go here for your free trial



    Tom Cassidy
  19. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Which is why standardisation and moderation of work is key. I worked in a school in a Languages Faculty where this never happened. When you inherited a colleague's class you knew that the level estimated was a work of fiction!
  20. However in terms of Ofsted it doesn't matter what you think. Satisfactory progress is three levels of progress from KS2 to KS4.
    Up to you whether you follow this but it would seem very risky not to, whether we believe KS2 results are reliable or not.

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