Primary school accountability in 2016: key updates

From today, (September 1st 2016) primary schools will be able to access and check their own provisional progress data. The Department for Education has also released further information on progress thresholds, writing assessment points and pupils below the standard of the test, which we've summarised below.

School performance tables (including confirmation of whether schools have met the floor standard) will not be published until December 2016.

Sufficient progress thresholds

The floor standard is the minimum standard for pupil attainment and/or progress that the government expects schools to meet. In 2016, a school will be above the floor if:

  • at least 65% of pupils meet the expected standard in English reading, English writing and mathematics (the expected standard = scaled score of 100+)


  • the school achieves sufficient progress scores in all three subjects, which has been set as at least -5 in English reading, -5 in mathematics and -7 in English writing.

To be above the floor standard, a school needs to meet either the expected standard threshold (65%) or all of the progress scores. The attainment element is a combined measure. This means an individual pupil needs to meet the 'expected standard' in English reading, English writing and mathematics, in order to be counted.

For example, if a school has 61% pupils achieving the expected standard, and progress scores of -6 in reading, -6 in mathematics, and -6 in writing then they are below the floor standard. This is because they are below the 65% 'expected standard' threshold, and have only met one of the three progress scores. They would have been above the floor standard if they had either achieved 65% pupils meeting the 'expected standard', OR had achieved all three progress scores. Fore more information on floor standard thresholds and how to calculate progress scores, read pp. 5-9 of this document.  You can also visit Michael Tidd's blog for a handy explanation of how progress scores are calculated here


High score thresholds

To be counted towards the 'expected standard' measure, a pupil must have a scaled score of 100 or more in reading and mathematics, and have been teacher assessed in writing as 'working at the expected standard' or 'working at greater depth'. To be counted towards the measure of 'higher standard', a pupil must have a 'high scaled score' of 110 or more in reading and mathematics and have been teacher assessed in writing as 'working at a greater depth'. For more information on the high score thresholds, read p.5 of this document. 


Key stage 2 points scores

For the purpose of calculating writing progress scores only, pupils were allocated points for each of the teacher assessment outcomes, as outlined below.

  • Working towards the standard = 91 points
  • Working at the expected standard = 103 points
  • Working at a greater depth within the expected standard = 113 points

This means, for example, that all pupils working at the expected standard were given 103 points.  For more information on writing assessment points, read pp. 18-19 of this document. 


Pupils below the standard of the test

A small percentage of key stage 2 pupils did not complete the key stage 2 programme of study. These pupils were categorised as working below the standard. In order to include pupils working below the standard of the test in the progress measures, points were assigned to each of the four teacher assessment categories.

  • Below the standard of the interim pre-key stage standards = 70 points
  • Foundations for the expected standard = 73 points
  • Early development of the expected standard = 76 points
  • Growing development of the expected standard = 79 points

To find out more about how to work out your school's progress scores, along with further information on primary school accountability in 2016, download the full report here. 


english, key stage 1, key stage 2, maths, reading, scaled score, writing, writing assessment

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