Brilliant Learning

Gwen Sinnott & Steve Preston: Education Research

When we heard that again this year that Statutory Assessment for Primary Schools was cancelled our hearts sank at the REU.

When we heard that again this year that Statutory Assessment for Primary Schools was cancelled our hearts sank at the REU. Another year without the rich analysis of school performance we were used to providing.


We had time to think and people to talk to, standing back from the end of Key Stage statutory collections and public accountability meant we had time to re-focus our support and look at how we could use our skills to support schools through this difficult time.

A lot of schools still wanted a contextual analysis of internal assessment and testing.  With schools taking different directions, we developed a flexible offer around this so that schools could use an REU tool to get a quick automated analysis of any year group assessments, either test or TA.  For schools who sent the data to us we have been able to provide a more detailed analysis.  Working with our subject consultants we were also able to produce a tool to monitor the Maths National Ready to Progress criteria across the school.

A new initiative this year was to provide a set of data surgeries, where schools could book a 1-1 session with the team and discuss any assessment data management, or analysis questions they had.  We found this particularly interesting and discussions were wide ranging, from capturing writing assessment to extending contextual data.

We want to continue a reflective and dynamic approach to the services we offer.  Some of the things we have learnt this year will continue as we move forward.  Examples are:

  • Review the standard REU package for next year to be more focused and flexible to respond to varied school needs.
  • Individual 1-1 school specific support
  • Continued development of tools to support schools internally.
  • Continue to provide regular updated lists of children in your school known to Social Care in Wandsworth
  • Introduce more virtual and e-Training and guidance.
  • Some virtual meetings and consultation with the Primary Data Steering Group and other forums to steer our work

Exploring national research

The unusual year has also meant we have spent time exploring other types of analysis, keeping a close eye on the work that other education research organisations have been carrying out. For example, we have drawn together findings on the link between KS4 and KS5 outcomes on longer term employment outcomes – and how this differs by deprivation, gender and ethnicity. For example, disadvantaged students are less likely to choose higher earning academic routes, even when controlling for prior attainment.

We’ve also been seeing how attainment gaps have been changing during the lockdown period, and how the impact varies for different cohorts (e.g. disadvantaged) and between subjects. For example, Hodder have recently released a white paper exploring attainment gaps from their optional literacy and maths assessments:

Please get in touch if you want to find out more about any of this analysis.

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