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The difference between attainment and achievement...

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by loual, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. Please can someone give me a clear description of the difference between attainment and achievement? I cannot seem to get a straight answer from anyone! My understanding is that one is the final outcome eg a C whereas the other is the progress relative to your own starting point eg 1 level or 2 levels...is this correct? and is this achievement or attainment? Thanks
  2. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    OK, you attain a Level 5
    and you achieve 2 levels progress.

    (or is it the other way round[​IMG])

    Nope, think that's right[​IMG]

  3. The way we interpret achievement is whether pupils are making the progress that you expect or not.
  4. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

    Probably best not to use the word if it means one thing to one person and something else to another!
  5. R13

    R13 Occasional commenter

    I only logged onto this one again in surprise because the question was answered so perfectly in post 3. There has been debate since BUT post 3 (And clariication in Post 5) is the answer whether we like it or not
  6. Achievement means distance travelled (in Ofsted speak). It is still an awkward area for Ofsted to make a judgement because it inspectors wont necessarily take into account the different level of challenge for different groups. It is the case that 'expected progress' applies to every learner. If you have large numbers of pupils from a deprived background or with special needs, then it is still likely that your school will be judged as not as good as a selective school or one in a middle class area where pupils can achieve more with less effort. The worst they can do is say that the school is 'coasting', but the school still gains a good score even though it is 'earned' by the pupils, rather than the school.
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    OK, here's my take on it.
    I am a linguist and pretty good at learning languages. I also have near-native command of Spanish, and pretty good French.
    You are a bog-standard Englishman who is a bit wary of foreign languages. Passed O-level French and Latin 40 years ago. Just.
    We are both given a one-week crash course in Italian, and then sit the GCSE exam.
    I get A*, you get a B.
    My attainment is greater than yours.
    But your achievement is far, far better than mine.
    Best wishes
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
  8. Echo this post.
  9. "Achievement is the Ofsted judgement that takes into account attainment and progress"

    I recognise this definition but I would like to see it explained how the calculation works. You can measure attainment accurately in terms of the level they are on. You can measure progress accurately in terms of difference in levels from a baseline to where they are now. So what do you do to these two numbers to decide achievement?
    It seems to me that an inspector makes his mind up and tells you what thy have come up with. I just want to see an explanation of how the calculation is done - but it seems that there isn't one. It is just their opinion. How do we challenge this if we don't agree?
  10. I would welcome more explanation of achievement. The last post sums up the issue for me. I am clear about attainment and progress but I would like to know more about how Ofsted decides on the achievement grade.
  11. The evaluation schedule for 2012 explains about how achievement will be evaluated on page 6. The judgement will be arrived at weighing up a range of factors. It is a more complex judgement to make than other ones. The key to it is comparing the school's evidence of attainment and progress to other schools using Raise online data. They are looking for significant differences + or - from the national norms. It is unlikely that it wont be obvious which category the judgement should be placed in, unless it lies on the borderline between satisfactory and good, or good and outstanding. Schools should try to work out for themselves which category they will be placed in . If it is not obvious then school leaders should try to put together a portfolio of their own evidence to support their view. Bear in mind that the issues will lie in the relative achievement of different groups rather than the overall judgement. Ideally, all groups should achieve well. If there are differences then the obvious question to ask is "what are school leaders doing about it?"
  12. littlerussell

    littlerussell New commenter

    Sorry no paragraphs, tes doesn't seem to like Google Chrome! Agree with AngieHT that the only possible answer to this is in the evaluation schedule.

    In short:

    OFSTED will give the school one of four grades for both attainment and progress. They will look initially at the school's Raise Online document, which shows how the school compares with others nationally for both. In Raise Online, areas which are significantly above/below national trends are highlighted (green + and blue -). Only a very small (top/lowest 10-15%) proportion are deemed significant.

    For both attainment and progress, as the majority of indicators over three years:
    Outstanding - majority green (Sig+)
    Good - broadly average, but with a trend of being above national
    Satisfactory - broadly average, but with a trend of being below national
    Unsatisfactory - majority blue (Sig-)

    They will take a look at what's going on with current cohorts in school and in lessons to see if the picture is different, but I suspect they are quite hard to shift from their initial Raise judgement (upwards ... need dramatic evidence to prove this will be sustained; downwards - the inspector would need to produce concrete proof rather than 'opinion' in case the school appealed).

    So you end up with two judgements: let's say the children have satisfactory attainment (around but a little below average) but good progress (they've done well to get there from a low starting point).

    These two judgements are combined into one as per the schedule: a summative judgement on how well the school is doing. The inspection schedule sums up how this judgement is made, but a rule of thumb would be to go for the lowest of the two (the school above is more likely to be judged satisfactory than good, since to be good would usually imply good for both.

    Try applying it to these scenarios, to understand how illogical the whole thing is.

    School A takes in a cohort of whom 40% are on track. It adds 15% value, but this leaves attainment at Sig-.
    School B takes in a cohort of whom 77% are on track (satisfactory attainment). It makes 4% better progress than national, and therefore the cohort leave with 81% (good attainment).
    School C takes a cohort of whom 77% (satis) are on track and ends up with 70% on track (satis attainment and progress below average but still satis). Overall value added: -7%.

    School A = Value-added 15%. Unsatisfactory (Sig- attainment). Head gets P45.
    School B = Value-added 4%. Good (slightly above average attainment/progress). Head is brought in to advise School A on how to do better.
    School C = Value-added -7%. Satisfactory (below, but not Sig- for attainment & progress).

    So, head of School A is sacked, despite making the biggest difference because BOTH indicators are not average. Head of school B, who was nowhere near as effective, gets promoted. Head of School C, whose progress rates actually FELL, is left alone.

    Any wonder why there is a shortage of headteachers?
  13. A rough and ready rule of thumb that an inspector (whom I met in a different guise) told me as a good <u>starting point</u>:
    Value Added is graded on the scale - Unsatisfactory(U); satisfactory(S); good(G); outstanding(O)
    Attainment is graded on the scale - sig below national(4); below national(3); above national(2); sig above national(1).
    Achievement is Unsatisfactory overall if you fall into the combinations U4, U3, U2, U1 or S4.
    Achievement is satisfactory overall if you fall into S3, S2, G4
    Achievement is Good overall if O4, O3, G3, G2,
    Achievement is Outstanding overall if O2, O1, G1.
    The only combo missing is S1 which sort of sits around Good/Satisfactory achievement.
    Obviously this raise the issue that if you have a really very low ability intake but do a stunning job with them in terms of Value Added you'll probably still get below national attainment overall and hence can't get outstanding. Obviously this is where the 'rule of thumb' breaks down but it does serve as a starting point for thinking.
    All of this assumes a 'balance' across key cohorts of students. If overall looks rosey but boys are massively underperforming girls then this will be taken into account in the judgement.

  14. What this means is that if you are an outstanding teacher and you get a job in a school in an area of deprivation then you will never be seen as an outstanding teacher because your school can never be outstanding - even if every teacher is outstanding.

    So teaching will never correlate with achievement, and wise teachers will avoid challenging schools if they value their careers.

    If you are an average teacher however in a nice selective school, you will be able to enjoy the success of that school with minimal effort because it will rarely be less than outstanding. Even if it offers a mediocre education, the pressure from parents for their children to succeed will guarantee the results that will make attainment high and progress look good.
    Ofsted have got this one wrong. The judgement on a school needs to be made on the quality of education that it provides and the response of pupils to it. When measuring the outcomes of a school we need to look beyond attainment into the full range of qualities that the best schools provide. A school that ensures that disadvantaged children do well in later life is a true success that must be recognised when schools are evaluated.
    If the schools doing the most difficult job don't get acknowledged by the inspection system then the inspection system will not be seen as fair by those who work in schools. Sir Michael Wilshaw please take note.'
  15. Attainment is expressed in numbers or letters. It describes a result.
    Achievement is expressed in concepts and it describes a process.
    Hope it is clear.
    Marta Lerena
    CatFit likes this.

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