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Progress 8 penalises schools with lower ability intakes, so should we still use this measure?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    ‘Schools with lower performing intakes are “systematically penalised” by Progress 8 – despite the measure supposedly taking prior attainment into account – a new study has found.

    Researchers at Cambridge Assessment found that schools’ Progress 8 scores “mainly reflected the student make-up of the school”, raising doubts about whether it is a fair way to hold schools to account.’


    What are your views about the research findings?
  2. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Well, blow me down.
    What a surprise.

    What would be refreshing would be to listen to teachers FIRST.
  3. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

  4. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    So schools with more Pupil Premium [a group known to underperform for reasons mostly outside of a school's control] do worse than schools with less PP?

    Erm... yeah... and?

    Doesn't really seem to discredit Progress8... just that Progress8 highlights something that would seem self-evident?
    JohnJCazorla and strawbs like this.
  5. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

  6. install

    install Star commenter

    No shocks here - with context not being taken into account some Secondary schools are already trying to select higher ability intakes. Progress 8 isnt really a measure of individual student progress at all..
    tterb likes this.
  7. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Senior commenter

    It’s the places that take in HA pupil premium that have the largest negative residuals. A grammar near me is in a deprived area and they have over 50% PP Aabd they struggle to achieve a zero progress 8 figure.
    install likes this.
  8. tterb

    tterb New commenter

    Clear disadvantage to schools with children from low socio economic backgrounds. So closely linked to curriculum that it is more realistically a tool to drive a one size fits all curriculum- fill all those boxes, or else!
    install likes this.
  9. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    Progress 8 is calculated by data.

    So, firstly, just factor in the issues facing these schools into their Progress 8 score.

    If PP students make 10% less progress, then knock 10% of the targets which inform Progress 8.

    If a school with 20% PP students does more than twice as bad as those with 10% (as the PP students are more likely to impact on non-PP in the classroom), factor that in.

    This is not rocket science. You just factor in every conceivable issue. The problems mention in the article can be summed up simply as not having factored everything in.

    Insurance companies do it all the time. If you're a driver they factor in as much data as they can. Age, gender (sorry, not gender anymore, but they used to), driving record, age, number of years driving, where you live, mileage, even the colour of the car.

    When we say Progress 8 is wrong because it doesn't factor X, Y or Z in, what we're implicitly saying is that it SHOULD factor those things in.

    Secondly, don't take one year's results, Average it out over a number of years. Or, to be more accurate, a number of exam entries (otherwise a small school is judged on half the data of a big one).

    Thirdly, don't publish a figure. Just publish the colour codes. Green for doing far better than you should, amber for doing roughly what you should, red for doing substantially worse than you should for no apparent reason.

    Just a thought.
  10. install

    install Star commenter

    Progress 8 gives double weighting to some subjects more than others. So that makes it highly questionable too. So Maths (one gcse), for example, is worth more than any other gcse? :eek:
    PeterQuint likes this.
  11. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    So higher-achieving students make more progress?

    Isn't that exactly what you'd expect if you'd read anything about cognitive science? Students who know more are better able to understand what they see and make new memories, and those who know less can never catch up.

    Presumably it would be easy enough to tweak the statistical model to take this into account.
  12. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    no measure that has a straight line progression across all abilities completely ignores the normal curve of distribution and is therefore flawed. Probably because very few Maths specialists end up in management positions in Education.
    PeterQuint and bessiesmith like this.
  13. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Everyone seems to have forgotten the main use of Progress 8.

    It is a measure that OFSTED can apply to predetermine its judgements.
    PeterQuint likes this.
  14. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    and why it such a dangerous tool if used in a way that is statistically flawed. a bit like some inspectors.
  15. nervousned

    nervousned Lead commenter

    All the statistical measures used in education are by their nature flawed as they assume that a school's set of data is a random sample of the country's set of data. This ignores the basic fact that a student living in London isn't going to go to school in Newcastle.
  16. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Also children from more advantaged homes are more likely to have a higher level music or ballet exam to throw into the mix, should their GCSEs not be quite up to scratch. Which is NOTHING to do with their school. It was an idea with good intentions, poorly executed. No surprise there then.
    JohnJCazorla and bessiesmith like this.
  17. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    My daughter is at a grammar school, but I'm not that impressed with the quality of the teaching - I'm not really sure that their results have much to do with the school at all.
    JohnJCazorla and blazer like this.
  18. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    I probably agree with you - bright children have a habit of staying bright if it were down to quality of education alone. But it's not. Children at grammars are simply in a better, safer, calmer, more focussed environment than in your local Skool for Rejects. They work with other children who generally want to behave and learn and generally aren't surrounded by chavs, gangs, muppets, d1 ckheads, kids who can't control themselves and staff who are unable to cope and stretched to their mental limits. It's not guaranteed of course, but a bright grammar school kid is far more likely to succeed than a bright Skool for Rejects kid. Having worked in both for many years, and most of the comps where I live now, I would never let a child of mine go to a local comp. It will be grammar or independent only.
    PeterQuint likes this.
  19. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    I've tutored quite a few children who've moved from non-selective schools to grammar schools for 6th form. Without exception they have either said the teaching at the grammar school was similar to or worse than at their previous school. I think the results are nearly all down to selection.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  20. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    Whilst I don't disagree with anyone on here (context is everything, despite Michael Wilshaw trying to convince us otherwise); when it comes to Progress 8, very able students are harder for schools because there's less dramatic progress i.e. a student working at a Grade 7 will have less of a positive score if they achieve an 8 than a Grade 4 student who achieves a 6 (or a Grade 3 to 5)...if you see what I mean. Students targeting 7-8s are harder to push on progress because of the nefarious, nebulous Grade 9. When is comes to very able students from less privileged backgrounds: they face the biggest struggle - the vagaries of puberty, the lack of academic support/resources at home becomes more of an issue at secondary level, and frequently they have more demands on their time (i.e. caring for younger siblings, part time jobs etc.).... overly-inflated or pre-puberty KS2 scores are the albatross around secondary teachers' necks. Yes, little Tommy did well in Year 6, but now little Tommy ain't so little anymore and he's more interested in vice than virtue these days.

    Basically, whatever measure we chose to use shouldn't try to ignore the elephant in the room: a students' home life and socioeconomic background. There are many stats out there that show that excllent teaching has some - but not much - impact on educational outcomes; home/family is a much greater factor. However, trying to make an impact on this area of a students' life is much more complicated (nigh on impossible) so teachers carry the burden of all society's ills. Plus, it's much cheaper to pretend that poor outcomes are always the result of poor schools/teaching. No one would argue that poor teaching/schools are a good thing, but when it comes to student outcomes in life, home and family is pretty much everything.

    By the way: I am talking in generalities since that's what data makes us do - there are always expections, onbviously.
    JohnJCazorla and PeterQuint like this.

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