Virtual Schoolbag (VSB)

13 Dec 2017
Headteachers of all primary, special, all-through schools
For information
Information
15 Dec 2017
2017/392
Primary Targets Data 2017/18

The purpose of this communication is to summarise key messages emerging from the collection of primary schools’ 2018 targets.

Background

In agreement with the Strategic Management Board (SMB), the local authority collects data from all primary schools and academies. Collections take place as follows:

  • Targets for 2018 outcomes in October/November.
  • In-year forecasts of where pupils will be by the end of the academic year in January 2018.The key use of this data is to ensure that the local authority focuses its funding on the correct priorities, through targeted interventions that promote excellence for all. However, we hope it also benefits schools to see the emerging picture as figures are aggregated to local authority level. School targets express the aspirations for their pupils to reach the highest standard possible. A good target should be possible to attain, but should also feel just a little out of reach. As a result they may not be met, but it is crucial that all teachers and pupils believe they are possible. These targets, alongside current tracking data, should drive quality first teaching in the classroom; including through informing planning, interventions and pupil progress meetings.  Schools will also have identified groups of pupils for which their target setting may need to be more aspirational, in order to ensure underachievement is eradicated. The local authority recognises that it needs to analyse all reported school data with prudence and caution in order to achieve the most effective blend of support and challenge in pursuit of excellence for all. Over the past two years the local authority has recognised the pressures that headteachers were under and sought to work with schools to understand their data and the challenges being faced under changed accountabilities and performance measures. This year the picture is clearer, although we recognise many challenges still exist.

Key issues

The local authority urges schools to continually review their aspirations for pupils in 2018, with a particular focus upon:

  • disadvantaged pupils and those with SEN/D across all key stages.
  • mathematics and English grammar punctuation and spelling at Key Stage 2.
  • ensuring that the level of challenge at Key Stage 1 will result in improving trends.

 Are aspirations as high in these areas as they are, collectively, at Key Stage 2 in reading, writing and mathematics (combined)?

 Submission of 2018 Targets data

95% of East Sussex primary schools and academies have contributed or promised to contribute their data to this analysis. The following should be read as a commentary, rather than a series of judgments and it is essential to note that this analysis is based on a partial picture, owing to the incomplete return of data at the date of writing.

 Analysis in brief

  • Pupils entitled to Free School Meals (FSM) or who are disadvantaged are targeted to do much less well than other pupils in all subjects and key stages. Gaps between FSM/disadvantaged and Non-FSM/Non-disadvantaged in schools’ targets, compared to the targets set at the same time last year; show that current targets are unlikely to significantly close the gap in attainment.

Key Stage

Subject

2016 gap (%)

2017 gap (%)

2018 gap (%)

EYFS

GLD

17

17

18

KS1

Reading EXS

16

20

17

Writing EXS

17

20

21

Mathematics EXS

15

20

18

KS2

RWM comb EXS

7

19

18

Reading EXS

13

17

18

Writing EXS

14

18

20

Mathematics EXS

13

15

17

EGPS EXS

-

19

21

 

  • SEN/D pupils are targeted to do much less well than other pupils in all subjects and key stages. Gaps between SEN/D and Non-SEN/D in schools’ targets, compared to the targets set at the same time last year; show that current targets are unlikely to consistently close attainment gaps, but may:
    • increase gaps for these pupils at EYFS and some aspects at Key Stage 1.
    • marginally decrease gaps for these pupils in some aspects at Key Stage 2.

Key Stage

Subject

2016 gap (%)

2017 gap (%)

2018 gap (%)

EYFS

GLD

53

56

62

KS1

Reading EXS

52

50

52

Writing EXS

56

54

55

Mathematics EXS

49

48

48

KS2

RWM comb EXS

58

60

55

Reading EXS

50

55

56

Writing EXS

57

62

59

Mathematics EXS

50

53

52

EGPS EXS

-

58

58

 

  • The schools’ targets for all pupils in the Early Years are about 2% higher than the 2017 outcome and well above the 2017 national outcome.
  • Schools’ Key Stage 1 targets at the:
    • Expected Standard (EXS) are above ESCC 2017 outcomes, but below ESCC FFT20 estimates.
    • Greater Depth Standard (GDS) for:
      • Reading is below ESCC 2017 outcomes and ESCC FFT20 estimates.
      • writing and mathematics are above ESCC 2017 outcomes, but below ESCC FFT20 estimates.
  • Schools’ Key Stage 2 targets:
    • For reading, writing and mathematics (combined) at expected and high standards are significantly above ESCC 2017 outcomes and 2017 national outcomes, but below FFT20 estimates, (both by 2%). This might suggest that schools have collectively increased their aspirations for combined outcomes in all three subjects.
    • For reading, writing and mathematics (separately), all are above ESCC and national 2017 outcomes, but below FFT20 estimates.
    • For English grammar punctuation and spelling (EGPS):
      • At the expected standard are above ESCC 2017 outcomes, in line with 2017 national outcomes and below FFT20 estimates.
      • At the high standard are below ESCC 2017 outcomes, 2017 national outcomes and FFT20 estimates.

This might suggest that schools are collectively being less aspirational in this subject.

Next steps                                                                                                              

We will continue to engage with schools and sponsors in an endeavour to collect a full set of data and we have been contacting some schools in order to gain a greater understanding of the figures they have reported.

All school leadership teams will need to have satisfied themselves that they are confident with their chosen methods of target setting, assessment and tracking. Triangulating accurate tracking and monitoring within school should assure senior leaders of the accuracy of the data. They can then support teachers with planning the most appropriate teaching and interventions to support all pupils in making good and better progress, therefore reaching the highest standards possible.

Education Improvement Partnerships (EIPs) and teaching school alliances are able to support schools locally, to work together to achieve improved outcomes for all pupils.

Important considerations for schools

We wish to remind schools that the FFT Aspire benchmark estimates have become more reliable due to national data being available for 2016 and 2017 outcomes. They now provide reliable information to inform target setting for 2018 outcomes. We urge schools to use FFT20 or higher (as appropriate) benchmark estimates for this purpose. Historically, setting targets using FFT50 estimates has led to underachievement.

Targets for Key Stage 2 mathematics and EGPS suggest that 2018 outcomes may be improved, but that this is unlikely to be above the respective 2017 national averages, which would see East Sussex lagging behind national, as we are expecting national rises again this year. Accessing support and training for developing mastery and reasoning approaches are essential aspects of the improvements needed in mathematics, with an emphasis on improving outcomes for disadvantaged, SEN/D and higher attaining pupils. For EGPS, spelling is a key emphasis, building a systemic and systematic approach to phonics throughout the school, rather than just in key year groups.

At Key Stage 1 we urge schools to be as aspirational as possible. Despite above national outcomes at local authority level, we do not compare favourably to our statistical neighbour authorities. The national direction of travel is still upwards and FFT estimates suggest much more is possible. Schools can focus upon those pupils who just scraped a good level of development in early years, but who were not secure. What works and can be done to support these pupils?

The Venn approach to tracking whether pupils are on course to succeed in each of reading, writing and mathematics is a high priority. In the past this approach has been successful across all year groups and can be used to focus upon:

  • pupils working at the expected standard or above;
  • pupils working within greater depth at the expected standard.

This tracking should identify pupils who need to be targeted for interventions in individual subjects.

We ask schools to ensure that target setting for the FSM and disadvantaged groups of pupils is aspirational, to ensure that performance gaps are narrowed significantly. Some individual school FSM/disadvantaged cohorts have a significant overlap of pupils with identified special educational needs (SEN). If this has an impact upon targets and in-year data schools need to identify this group and be able to very clearly articulate the progress all individual pupils are making. The local authority understands the impact this issue can have on schools’ aggregated targets, especially for those with smaller cohorts.

Similar aspiration also needs to be applied for all SEN/D pupils, alongside focused inclusive practice. A range of national and international research evidence suggests that the key approach to raising standards for disadvantaged and SEN/D pupils is to ensure they receive high quality first teaching in the classroom.

To demonstrate progress and attainment for pupils working below the standard of statutory testing arrangements the Rochford Review: final report (October 2016) has produced three Interim Pre-key Stage 1 standards for reading, writing and mathematics and five Interim Pre- Key Stage 2 standards for reading, writing and mathematics.

Original data request details

If schools have not yet shared their data, we would strongly encourage them to do so by Friday 15 December, using the details that can be found as follows:

 

Laura-Jane Marshall
Bill Roddick
Commissioning Manager

Phone: 07920 498244 Mobile
Email: bill.roddick@eastsussex.gov.uk