The National Curriculum sets standards of achievement in key subjects for pupils aged 5-14. Children sit tests known as SATS (Standard Attainment Tests) at the end of Key Stages in their education.
Key Stage 1
Key Stage 2
Key Stage 3
SATS are intended to give an indication of how well pupils and schools are doing compared with national standards, with results incorporated into Performance Tables, or ‘league tables’ as they’re more commonly known.
Currently, the following information is incorporated into Primary School League Tables:
The % of children attaining Level 4 in Key Stage 1 tests
The % of children attaining Level 4 in Key Stage 2 tests
The ‘Value Added’ by the school – measures the progress made by children over Key Stage 2
‘Contextual Value Added’ – attaches a weighting to the level of a school’s ‘value added’ success considering its pupils’ socioeconomic mix. This measure places a greater weighting on levels of achievement and rates of progress for children from deprived backgrounds.
Performance tables are useful but give a limited picture of the education a school provides. Raw scores tend to favour schools which attract wealthier, more able children, while ‘value added’ measures tend to favour schools based in deprived areas.