By Barry Myers,2014-10-17 14:28
14 views 0



    Title The development by the Department for Children, Schools and Families of a School Report Card.

Description of the policy

    The Children’s Plan is a statement of the DCSF’s strategic objectives and policy priorities for children, young people and families over the medium term. It included the Government’s ambition to make England the best place in the world

    for children and young people to grow up in.

    To realise this ambition, 21st Century Schools: A World-Class Education for Every Child, published along with a consultation on the School Report Card, stressed the need for clarity about the accountability of schools about what is

    expected of them, how will they be held to account, and by whom- so that parents, government and schools themselves are clear about how well schools are performing and what happens if their performance is excellent or poor.

The School Report Card is being developed as part of the Government’s

    intention to improve how schools’ performance is reported to parents, communities and other stakeholders providing clear and comprehensive information. The School Report Card will build on the New Relationship with Schools, further streamlining the accountability system.

    We will engage with stakeholders through two years of piloting beginning Autumn 2009. At the core of the pilot will be a substantial sample of schools who will work with us in ensuring the underlying systems produce timely accurate data and contribute to the development of the information that underpins the Report Card and how it is presented

The evidence base

     st21 Century Schools evidence narrative and evidence base for the White Paper

     st21 Century Schools: A World Class Education for Every Child

    A School Report Card: consultation document Analysis of responses to the Consultation documents: Consultation Unit, DCSF June 2009

    School Accountability and School Report Cards CPR1170 DCSF and COI communications November 2008

These are public documents and are available at

    This is in addition to the wide body of evidence on equality held and used by the Department on an ongoing basis.

What the evidence shows key facts

For full range of evidence please see the White Paper EQUIA

    There is a significant variation in educational outcomes within and between groups of children, frequently associated with their social and economic circumstances. As a consequence many children, often concentrated into particular disadvantaged or vulnerable groups, fail to fulfil their potential. (DCSF SFRs)

    Much information is already published about schools’ performance, eg in the Achievement and Attainment Tables, Ofsted inspection reports, the School Profile and school prospectuses. The Tables do not report schools’ success in

    raising the attainment of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds so that they have the same opportunities in life as their more advantaged peers.

    Husbands et al. (2008) of the EPPI Centre conducted a review of accountability and children’s outcomes in high-performing education systems. The study

    confirms the widespread use of outcome indicators for accountability purposes, although the nature and purposes of these functions varied markedly between systems. Educational indicators were used for monitoring schools and national standards. They were sometimes used as a means of holding individual schools and the education system to account; they also informed the development of policies, as well as school and area improvement.

    The EPPI authors found that the reporting of a broad range of child outcome indicators in a meaningful way that allows policymakers and planners to use them is a serious challenge for most governments; there is considerable policy 1interest in how best to do this.


    ; With 20% of all children identified as having a special educational need

    (SEN), all mainstream schools will be concerned with achievement for this

    group, particularly as outcomes are well below those of children without

     1st 21 Century Schools Evidence Narrative

    SEN. Traditionally, children with SEN and disabilities have suffered from

    low expectations and their parents are less likely to be satisfied than other

    parents with their engagement with schools. At age 16, 68 per cent of

    disabled young people are in full time education, compared with 72 per cent

    of those who are not disabled. (YCS SFR04/2005)

    ; At age 16, 15 per cent of disabled young people are not in education,

    employment or training (NEET) compared with seven per cent of those who

    are not disabled (YCS SFR04/2005).

    ; In 2006, 8.5 per cent of pupils with a statement of special educational needs

    gained five or more GCSE grades A*-C, compared with 65.9 per cent of

    those without such a statement (SFR 46/2006).

    ; In 2005, by age 19, only 59 per cent of disabled people had reached at

    least level 2, compared with 77 per cent of those without a disability. (YCS

    SFR 49/2005)

    ; Eight out of ten children with learning disabilities have been bullied at

    school and six out of ten have been physically hurt. (MENCAP, 2007) ; Disabled children and those with visible medical conditions can be twice as

    likely as their peers to become targets for bullying behaviour. (Office of the

    Children’s Commissioner, 2006)


    ; Recent Years have also seen big improvements for all the major minority

    ethnic groups that were previously underperforming. The performance of

    the major census groups, Black, Asian and Mixed has improved faster than

    the cohort average at both primary and secondary levels over the past five

    years. For example the gap between the Black pupils performance and

    average performance narrowed considerably. However the absolute

    achievement for some minority ethnic groups still lags behind the cohort as

    a whole.

    ; In 2006 at KS2 Level 4+, pupils of African, African-Caribbean, Bangladeshi

    and Pakistani backgrounds achieved below national averages in English

    and mathematics, with the gap being significantly wider in mathematics.

    The gap in mathematics was 12 percentage points in the case of pupils of

    African backgrounds, 13 for those of African-Caribbean background, five for

    those of Bangladeshi background, and 11 for those of Pakistani


    ; In 2006 at GCSE 5+A*-C, pupils from of African, African-Caribbean,

    Bangladeshi Pakistani backgrounds achieved below national averages and

    the gap was particularly wide when attainment in English and mathematics

    was taken into account. The gap when these two subjects were taken into

    account was 9.4 percentage points in the case of pupils of Pakistani

    background, 5.2 for those of Bangladeshi background, 14.6 for those of

    African-Caribbean background and 6.6 for those of African backgrounds.

    ; The two sets of figures cited above mask substantial differences between

    boys and girls and, in the case of Pakistani-heritage communities,

    substantial regional differences.


    ; Since 1988, on the threshold measure of 5+ A-C GCSEs, a significant

    gender gap in favour of girls has emerged. This gap quickly increased and

    subsequently became stable at around a ten percentage points difference,

    with little variation since 1995. Currently the gender gap is 9.6 percentage

    points: 63.4 per cent of girls and 53.8 per cent of boys achieved 5+ A*-C

    GCSEs or equivalent in 2006. The largest gender differences (a female

    advantage of more than ten percentage points on those gaining an A*-C

    GCSE) are for subjects in the humanities, the arts and languages. ; Some of these achievement patterns have been relatively stable over six

    decades. There have also, however, changing patterns over the years. In

    Maths, there has been a shift from a male advantage averaging four

    percentage points prior to 1991 to a slim female advantage of up to two

    percentage points in recent years.

    ; Of all permanent exclusions recorded in 2005/06, the overwhelming

    majority were boys and this has remained the case since late 1990 ; About 30 per cent of all young people aged 16 are ‘low achievers’, in the

    sense that they have few if any valuable qualifications. Within this group

    boys outnumber girls by three to two. (Cassen and Kingdon, 2007)

Challenges and opportunities

Reducing disadvantage is concerned with measuring a schools success in

    raising the academic attainment of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of pupils relative to their peers, while still improving the outcomes for all children.

    The school accountability system will now focus more sharply on how well each child is progressing and developing; it will take more account of the views of pupils and parents; and reward those schools which are most effective in breaking the links between deprivation and low achievement. We believe that the introduction of the School Report Card will make the school accountability system more coherent, better co-ordinated, more streamlined and better able to recognise the full range of each school’s achievements by:

    ; Closing the gap in educational achievement for children from disadvantaged


    ; It should be equally possible for a good school serving a disadvantaged

    community and a good school serving a less disadvantaged area to obtain

    a high score on the School Report Card

    ; During the forthcoming pilot year, we intend to develop indicators which capture the extent to which schools have been successful in ensuring that the gaps between the attainment of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups is reduced.

    ; The proposed indicators for narrowing gaps in pupil performance category along with pupils’ progress will measure how well a school enables every child to reach its potential.

    ; The indicators we propose to use to measure the Narrowing Gaps in Pupil

    Performance category are designed to specifically address under-

    performance correlated to poverty or ethnicity: The definition of a disadvantaged pupil included in the Narrowing Gaps in Pupil Performance

    category will be the same as that used in Regulations that came into force on 31 December 2008 requiring Local Authorities to set targets for eight under-performing groups. These groups are: Black Caribbean;

    White/Black Caribbean; Black African and White/Black African; Black Other; Pakistani; White Other; Gypsy, Roma and Traveller of Irish heritage; and, Children eligible for free school meals

    ; We believe that some form of CVA is the best means of contextualising Pupils’ Progress. Contextualised VA measures not only take into account a pupil’s prior attainment, but also other contextual factors known to have an effect on their progress that are outside a school’s control - for example,

    their gender, degree of deprivation, Special Educational Needs, first language, ethnicity However, in light of the concerns raised in the consultation about CVA, we will review the factors that should be taken into account and the methodology used to calculate scores during the pilot phase.

    ; We are committed to the SRC containing a measure which

    reflects schools' success in securing positive outcomes for children with SEN, as well as reflecting the views of pupils with SEN and their parents. The evidence points to using measures which: focus on the progress of the lowest achievers, the majority of whom are identified as having SEN; considering how the reducing disadvantage measure could be used; and separating out satisfaction results for pupils with SEN and disability and their parents, and comparing them to other pupils and parents.

    ; By reporting all the underpinning performance data on the School Report Card, different users will still be able to look at the particular aspects of performance that interest them most identifying areas of a school’s work

    that are particular strengths; or areas in a strong school that continue to need improvement. For example:

    o Focus on an increase on the take up of STEM subjects by girls

    o See improvement of confidence of girls in STEM subjects

    o Evidence that boys reading is improving

    ; Ofsted grading will be on front page of Report Card and we are exploring the option of including the grade on which the school promotes equality and tackles discrimination amongst others.

Equality impact assessment

A positive impact is explicitly intended and very likely.

    The school accountability system as set out in the White Paper will now focus more sharply on how well each child is progressing and developing; it will take more account of the views of pupils and parents; and reward those schools which are most effective in breaking the links between deprivation and low achievement. To deliver this we will develop a new School Report Card (SRC) for every school, which will provide a rounded assessment of school performance and enable parents and the public to make better informed judgements about the effectiveness of each school.

    We believe that the introduction of the School Report Card will make the school accountability system more coherent, better co-ordinated, more streamlined and better able to recognise the full range of each school’s achievements

Next steps

    We intend to pilot the proposals set out in the School Report Card prospectus over the next two years starting in September 2009.

    At the heart of the pilot will be a substantial sample of schools who will work with the DCSF to ensure the underlying systems produce timely, accurate data and contribute to the development of the information that underpins the Report Card and how it is presented.

    The first pilot phase commences in autumn 2009 to develop the performance indicators which might be used in the Pupils’ Attainment, Pupils’ Progress, and

    Narrowing Gaps in Pupils’ Performance categories, and exploring the weightings

    to be used to produce a score for each of those categories focusing on education outcomes.

    We will also test options for contextualising the School Report Card including information on disability, gender and ethnicity.

    The second pilot phase commences in autumn 2010 focus on wider outcomes- wellbeing and parent/pupil survey data building on the results from the first year.

We will also test options for reflecting a school’s work with disabled children and

    children with with Special Educational Needs .

The results of the pilots will be published at regular intervals throughout the next

two years.

Return to table of contents

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email