London, England - 23 January 2014 - Software for Data Analysis, or SDA, the private sector company that produces the Department for Education’s school performance tables, have today launched their own version of the school league tables,
www.schoolperformancetables.com. They have stripped them down to their essentials and fashioned these into their "National Single Indicator" of school performance, represented by a parent-friendly five star readout à la TripAdvisor.
SDA have identified four key measures that they believe carry the most weight in terms of how well schools are doing compared to their peers. By combining these according to a specific “algorithm”, or formulation, they have come up with a single measure of how a school is performing. The four measures include:
- Pupils making (or exceeding) the expected progress in English and Mathematics
- Pupils achieving the main threshold level (Level 4 or above in Reading, Writing and Mathematics at Key Stage 2, or the Percentage of pupils achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs at Key Stage 4)
- Pupils’ Average Point Score
- The main Value-Added measure.
The website also recognises that parents might place their own value on these measures and allows them to alter the measures’ weightings to modify how important they think each measure is. This dynamically alters the overall results to give parents their own “personal indicator”, allowing them to compare schools in a list tailored to their own specification. A further innovation provides a search of all secondary schools by the subjects they offer, outside the core curriculum, allowing parents to refine their preferences.
Robert Baldy, CEO of SDA said:
"We have been delivering the school performance tables since 1993. They are a comprehensive source of information, but we think they have become complex. In an age of information overload, people need to get to the point quickly. By providing a simple, straightforward benchmark of how well a school is doing I think we’re contributing to that goal. By letting people place their own value on the components of that benchmark I think we’re adding value."