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No school progress measure for next two years

There will be no progress 8 replacement for the next two years due to the lack of SATs data from the pandemic, government has confirmed. 

The Department for Education said it had explored alternative options for producing a progress measure at key stage 4 for 2024-25 and 2025-26.

But officials have concluded there will be “no replacement” to the progress 8 measure.

It will instead continue to “publish the remaining headline attainment, entry and destination measures and return to publishing time-series”. 

But they will continue to provide the most recent available progress 8 scores – so for 2023-24 and 2022-23. 

Primary SATs being cancelled in 2019-20 and 2020-21 due to the pandemic means there is no key stage two prior attainment data to calculate the progress 8 measure for those cohorts. 

DfE said it intends to return to progress 8 in 2026-27, when key stage 2 data is available again. 

Ofsted will continue to consider a range of data provided in the inspection data summary report, including about the school’s cohort. There is “no single piece of data will determine the outcome of any Ofsted judgement”. 

Grading will continue to take place as normal next summer.

Tom Middlehurst, qualifications specialist at ASCL school leaders’ union, said this is the “least-bad” approach, adding: “But it is far from ideal and means we are stuck with schools being judged in performance tables on exam attainment regardless of context. Schools where progress is improving will feel particularly hard done by.

“It is a missed opportunity to rethink performance tables, and once again highlights why current accountability metrics should be reformed to cover a wider range of information which tells parents more about a school than just exam results.”

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