The perennial problem of primary high attainers



This post features analysis of the 2016 primary transition matrices, but mostly raises awkward questions.



Publication of the 2016 primary performance tables is imminent, together with revised national figures for achievement of the KS2 higher standard and new breakdowns by pupil characteristics, including receipt of pupil premium.

We also await the results of the TIMSS 2015 international comparisons study, which will show whether the proportion of pupils achieving the advanced benchmark in maths and science at age 9/10 has improved since 2011.

But the evidence already released paints a worrying picture of primary high attainment in 2016.

This includes:

  • The provisional data on high scaled scores in SFR39/2016 and

This short post synthesises that evidence, providing a staging post from which to launch analysis of the…

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Making sense of centres of excellence



This post probes the ‘centres of excellence’ proposal in the selection green paper.

Schools that work for everyone’ (September 2016) includes within its chapter on selection three proposals for ‘existing selective schools to do more to support children at non-selective schools’

This context is critical for understanding much of the confusion over centres of excellence. They are ostensibly a means by which existing (and potentially new) selective schools can extend their provision to learners attending other institutions.

Some wrongly believe they create additional de facto selective schools. I do not qualify with ‘ostensibly’ because I accept that argument, but because:

  • It is not strictly necessary for a selective school to be involved and
  • It seems doubtful whether selective school pupils could participate in such a centre alongside their non-selective peers.

The proposal in question is designed to ‘encourage multi-academy trusts to select within their trust’. But this…

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