Everybody Counts or Nobody Counts
Setting judgement grades for all the students in your 2020 examination cohorts
‘Everybody Counts or Nobody Counts’ is the philosophy espoused by Hieronymus ‘Harry’ Bosch, the fictional detective in many of Michael Connelly’s novels. Even though the coronavirus pandemic might recall ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ painted by Hieronymus Bosch c.1490-1510, it is the fictional Bosch’s philosophy that both drove me as a teacher and prompted me into writing this blog.
Performance measures have been suspended in England and Wales: ‘The Government will not publish any school or college level educational performance data based on tests, assessments or exams for 2020. We will not hold schools and colleges to account on the basis of exams and assessment data from summer 2020 and that data will not be used by others, such as Ofsted and local authorities, to hold schools and colleges to account.’
If you are an Alps school or college in England you are not tied to government progress-based assessment measures, whether the L3VA (Post-16) or Progress 8 (KS4).
Interestingly, most schools and colleges in England never have full coverage of their raw attainment in the annual government Performance Tables because a percentage of their cohorts do not have the required baseline, whether a KS2 SAT score at KS4 or an average GCSE score Post-16. Historically, these students ‘do not count’.
Alps has the tools to include all students in your internal performance improvement analysis. Using Alps and our online interactive software, Connect Interactive, schools and colleges in England can already add their own estimated prior attainment score, if they are missing a baseline score.
And in 2020, Alps is encouraging all schools and colleges to use the powerful tools in Connect Interactive to set and analyse their judgement grades. During this national emergency, Alps has made Connect Interactive available at no extra charge to interested schools and colleges from the end of March.
To register to use Connect Interactive at no extra charge click the button below:
To book onto a live webinar for a demonstration on how Connect Interactive can help you at this time click https://alps.education/alps-training-hub/webinars/
Making all students count
Using Connect Interactive it is simple to analyse your data based on either:
- The students with the required baseline for that cohort
- All students in that cohort
To achieve this, you will need to add an estimated Prior Attainment (PA) for each of the students who do not have the required PA for each cohort. This has already been advocated by my colleagues in the Alps Educational Consultant team as the best means of ensuring all students are involved in your target-setting and progress-tracking / monitoring during their courses.
This can be done in a variety of ways
If a student has joined post-16 courses having studied abroad until 16, try to find a best-fit average GCSE score using those qualifications:
If you have a reliable one, set an entry test to determine their A Level potential. If these are not available, ask teachers of each student still without an estimated PA to compare those students with their peers and use that information to set a best-fit PA.
In England, if a student did not sit the KS2 SATs but does have Teacher Assessed KS2 scores these could be applied. Through Alps’ work with international schools, we have made significant progress in terms of lining up GL CAT test results with the top 25% of KS2 scores. If you are interested in that conversion get in touch.
In Wales, where our KS4 baseline is a student’s Y8 Welsh National Test (WNT) results, we recommend using their Year 7 or Year 9 WNT results or their KS2 SAT results if joining you from England.
If you have a reliable one, set an entry test to determine their KS4 potential.
If the above are not available, ask teachers of each student still without an estimated PA to compare those students with their peers and use that information to set a best-fit PA.
Creating the ability to filter by Actual and Estimated PA in Connect Interactive
To do this, you need to prepare an Excel file, including the Student IDs used in your Year Group and the Baseline custom column that you wish to import. Students who have the required baseline for that Key Stage should be identified as Y and those with estimated PA should be identified as N.
Follow our help guidance on adding your Estimated PA scores for the relevant students, you will then be able to analyse whole school performance, subject performance and student group performance by all students, by students with only Actual PA students or by students with only Estimated PA students.
Our tools in Connect Interactive give you easy to use, rich analysis including our ‘Monitoring Accuracy’ and ‘What If’ tools, so that you can see if all of your student estimates look in line with recent performance, including your estimated PA students.
Baseline solutions for the future
The 2020 cancellation of KS2 SATs and teacher assessments in England and the Welsh National Tests means that schools will need to determine other baselines to track student progress against in years to come.
Setting a baseline at KS4 for students in Year 7 in England (2020-21) to KS4 in 2025
This is a challenge, but one possibility – which would also work for international, independent schools and schools in Northern Ireland – would be our CAT Test conversion.
Setting a baseline at KS4 for students in Year 9 in Wales (2020-21) to KS4 in 2023
When these students start KS4 we recommend using their Year 7 or Year 9 WNT results or their KS2 SAT results if they joined you from England.
These are challenging times, but through our simple tools, Alps gives you the ability to ensure that every student counts and achieves their potential. This was the basis for Alps in the first place and remains central to our purpose today.