PROFORMA FOR A FULL EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT
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
; 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
; 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 school’s 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
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
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