Frequently asked questions
What is the School Data Dashboard?
The School Data Dashboard provides a high level summary of each school's performance data. The data are presented in a simple, accessible way to ensure that users do not require an in-depth knowledge of school statistics to use it.
What type of information is covered in the School Data Dashboard?
Data are provided for Key Stages 1, 2 and 4. Measures include:
- percentage of pupils reaching the expected level in key subjects (English, reading, writing, mathematics)
- percentage of pupils attaining GCSE grades A* to C in key subjects (English, mathematics, science)
- percentage of pupils making expected progress in English and mathematics
- overall attendance at the school (percentage)
- closing the gap measures (these measures look at the attainment and expected progress of disadvantaged pupils compared with other pupils).
How do I access the School Data Dashboard?
The School Data Dashboard is publically available online and a search facility allows users to search by school name, town, postcode or URN. The dashboard is also available via the provider pages on the Ofsted website. The Ofsted provider pages hold the school inspection reports and are accessible via this link. The report can be printed in pdf form for the key stage of interest. For governors and school leaders, the data underlying the reports and much more detail about school performance are available in RAISEonline. Governors should approach their school to gain access to the data.
What do we mean by similar schools?
Each school has its own group of similar schools. These are defined as schools whose pupils arrived with a similar average level of attainment. For Key Stage 2 primary schools this will be the Key Stage 1 assessment results, for Key Stage 4 secondary schools this will be the Key Stage 2 tests and assessments. The measure does not take into account other contextual factors such as deprivation or levels of special educational needs, because these factors should already be reflected in the prior attainment of the pupils. Key Stage 2 schools are compared with the most similar 110 schools, for Key Stage 4 with the most similar 60. The similar schools group sizes were chosen by grouping those schools which had very similar pupil attainment on entry. The group sizes differ because, as a minimum number, all schools with the same prior attainment must be in the same group. This minimum number is larger for Key Stage 2. There is no similar school comparison for Key Stage 1 data.
What are the differences between the Ofsted and DfE similar schools measures?
The similar schools measure used in the School Data Dashboard categorises schools as similar on the basis of the school level prior attainment average point score for the cohort sitting examinations/assessments in the most recent year. Ofsted then apply these groupings to six measures at Key Stages 2 and 4. In contrast the Department for Education categorise schools as similar by modelling pupil level prior attainment for the cohort sitting examinations/assessments in the most recent year. In the Department for Education model the focal school is always at the centre of the group. The Department for Education then apply these groupings to one headline measure at Key Stages 2 and 4.
Why are some data suppressed?
In order to protect individuals from being identified data are suppressed when the number of pupils in the cohort is less than six. In the closing the gap section, all data are suppressed if the cohort in either the 'disadvantaged' or 'other' pupil group is less than six.
Why are some of my data missing?
Data could be missing from a dashboard for three main reasons:
- The school is a sponsor-led academy and therefore we are unable to show predecessor school data.
- The school was not open at the time the data were collected.
- The school has registered eligibility for a Key Stage but, as yet, does not provide this Key Stage.
If you are using the web-based dashboard tool then information on why data are missing can be accessed by placing your mouse over the blue question mark at the side of the chart.
Which schools are dashboards available for?
The School Data Dashboard publishes data for maintained primary and secondary schools which are open at the time of publication and for which data exist. Academies are publicly-funded independent schools that benefit from greater freedom to innovate and raise standards. Academy converters are maintained schools which have converted to academies. Where a school has converted to become an academy, the data for the school prior to conversion are linked to the new academy data and displayed on the dashboard. For schools that have recently closed, or are in the process of closing, data will be available until the school is removed from the eligible schools list and the dashboard is updated. Data concerning these schools are available from the Department for Education performance tables. For new schools, which do not have data for a full academic year, no dashboards are available.
Why doesn’t my school have a dashboard?
Dashboards are produced for new schools once there is a full academic year of data available. For example, schools which opened in September 2012 will have dashboards developed in late 2013.
How is the disadvantaged pupils category defined?
The disadvantaged pupils category includes pupils who were eligible for free school meals (FSM) at any point during the last six years and children looked after (CLA). CLA are pupils who have been looked after continuously for 6 months (>=183 days) during the year and are aged between five and fifteen. The data do not cover those children looked after under respite care.
How will the School Data Dashboard be used by inspectors?
Inspectors will continue to take account of a wide range of data when gathering evidence for their inspection judgements. The data on the dashboard are already used by inspectors alongside more detailed analyses, with the exception of the comparison with similar schools which is new. Inspectors will now expect school governors to be familiar with the measures presented in the School Data Dashboard for their school. The publication of the dashboard does not reflect a change in the School Inspection Framework.
How can I suggest changes and improvements to the School Data Dashboard?
We will be pleased to hear how we can make the School Data Dashboard more useful to governors and members of the public. If you have any suggestions for improvement then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who do I contact if I find any problems accessing the School Data Dashboard?
If you have problems accessing the dashboard, please contact us at email@example.com
Where might I go for further information on school performance?