In 2014, the Department for Education (DfE) announced changes to the National Curriculum. As part of the changes, the ‘levels’ system previously used to report on children’s attainment was removed. From 2016, SATs results were reported using scaled scores.
Each child is given a scaled score as a number. This is based on a raw score – the number of marks received in tests undertaken in Year 6. Children may achieve a score of:
- Below 100, meaning they have not achieved the ‘expected standard’
- 100, meaning that they have reached the ‘expected standard’
- Above 100, meaning that they have exceeded the ‘expected standard’
The way in which primary school performance is measured at the end of key stage 2 (KS2) has also changed. Instead of measuring progress for individual pupils, the current measures look at progress at a school level. Progress measures provide parents with information to help them understand how their school is performing and to inform school choices.
In order to calculate the school level progress measures, pupils’ results (at KS2) are compared to the achievements of other pupils across the country who had a similar starting point (prior attainment). Prior attainment is based on teacher assessment judgements at key stage 1 (KS1).
If a school has a progress score of 0 this means that on average their pupils achieved similar results at the end of KS2 (end of year 6) to pupils in other schools with similar results at the end of KS1 (end of year 2).
If a school has a positive progress score this means that on average their pupils made more progress than pupils in other schools with similar results at the end of KS1.