Saturday, 26 November 2011

Do we have any under-performing groups of pupils, or are there wide gaps in attainment?

Question 2: do we have any under-performing groups of pupils, or are there wide gaps in attainment between some groups of pupils?

There are a number of reports in RAISEonline which show attainment, progress and absence for different groups of pupils. Even in schools with above average levels of attainment there can be “gaps” in attainment between some groups of pupils. For example, the Government’s White Paper The Importance of Teaching sets out to narrow the “gap” between pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers.

Other examples of pupil groups whose attainment you may wish to look at include:

• Boys and girls, particularly in English

• Pupils whose first language is not English

• Minority ethnic pupils

• Pupils with special educational needs (SEN), particularly comparing such pupils at your schools to pupils with SEN nationally

• At Key Stage 2, pupils of different ability levels as measured by attainment at the 
end of Key Stage 1

Comparing the attainment of pupil groups is only worthwhile - and valid - if you have a sufficient number of pupils in each group. Fewer than 10 pupils in a single year would be insufficient, and any comparisons based on 10-20 pupils should be interpreted with caution. However, examination of data over a number of years may reveal a persistent pattern of atypical attainment for small pupil groups.

Taken from

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