After the uncertainty yesterday about what the new Key Stage 2 floor targets were going to be, I headed to the DfE stand today at The Academies Show to try and find out if anyone there knew.
The confusion was around what the new floor standards were going to be at Key Stage 2 following last week’s announcement that 65% (not the previously touted 85%) was the new floor target for Maths, Reading and Writing. Unclear messages from a Northamptonshire DfE briefing had led one group of Heads to understand that floor was now 65% overall attainment in separate subjects Reading, Writing and Maths rather than 65% combined which was previously assumed.
In these situations, Northampton Headteacher, Jamie Nairn, did what everyone else in the country would do when unable to get a straight answer from the government, ask Michael Tidd and ‘School Data Updates‘ on Twitter! Unfortunately, on this occasion, even these two very weren’t clear – a sure sign that something’s not right.
So, hopefully to clear things up, the following is the clarification that I received from the STA after checking directly with the DfE Accountability Team:
“Individual pupils need to meet the expected standard in all 3 subjects, reading and writing and in maths.
For progress, schools will get three progress scores – one for reading, one for maths and another for writing.
When calculating attainment we’ll be looking at the % of pupils that achieve the expected standard in all three subjects.
When looking at progress we’ll be looking at whether schools have made sufficient progress score in each of the subjects separately, reading, maths and writing. There won’t be a combined measure, but a school will need to have made sufficient progress in all three of the subjects.
To be above the floor standard schools will need to either meet the attainment element or the progress element.”
My understanding of this is that attainment will be a combined measure as we know it (the percentage of children who achieve the expected standard in all 3 areas combined) and that the progress measure will be separate measures (as with 2 levels historically) but that all three will need to be ‘sufficient’. The ‘sufficient progress’ marker is likely to be a negative but that’s a whole separate discussion and one that we shouldn’t hold our breath on finding out any answers soon. In the meantime, you can get your head around the new calculations thanks to the following video from Michael Tidd…
As an aside, I met the STA’s Will Emms today, famed for presenting some of the information videos that have emerged so far this year. He was a thoroughly nice chap and very helpful; we should try and remember that there are good people trying to do their best in managing a very difficult project on behalf of the government at the moment.
A final thought that 65% or 85%, combined or otherwise, it doesn’t really matter; our next move is still the same – to give all our children the best change of success next summer whilst maintaining an enjoyable, creative and broad curriculum and keeping our staff positive and hopefully still enjoying what is a wonderful profession to be in.