Ofsted’s new Inspection Data Summary Report (IDSR) seems to have been generally well received in schools, although some have been surprised by the absence of groups other than prior attainment and disadvantaged in nearly all the data.
The schedules are easy to follow and graphically clear. The Areas to Investigate seem to be more helpful and generally more positive than seen in the old inspection dashboard. Some schools have however been disconcerted by the fact that not all the comments made are supported by data in the body of the report, they are clearly driven by Ofsted’s wider analysis.
It is interesting to see the contextual information has returned to the front of the document and this is likely to mean inspectors will be more conscious of a school’s context rather than being singularly focused on the “numbers” alone. The prior attainment tables on the 3rd page are a little confusing and do take a little unpicking. The attendance and exclusions data suffers from the same issues as before being out of date and only covering part of the year.
With careful use the trends in VA ranking are graphically clear so long as schools remember they are relative measures and not absolutes, meaning a school progress might improve but the ranking fall if other schools have improved more. The greying out of small groups also seems to have gone down well although some confusion remains as to how much attention school should pay to these figures. The disadvantaged ranking need special care as the rank is against other disadvantaged groups nationally but the significant markers are against all pupils and so a red box can exist well into the 4th quintile.
Most schools seem to have registered the need to look out for outliers on the scatterplot charts for VA although there is no clear definition of an outlier but for single or 2 form schools an outlier or 2 of +/- 10VA can have a noticeable impact on the cohort’s overall VA.
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