25 January 2017

Image of

You may have heard on the news last week that data for schools from the summer has now been checked and validated and has appeared in the form of national performance tables. Schools are now being judged on the new Progress 8 score.

There was a lot of media talk about North West schools doing badly. This was not the case for Tarleton Academy. 

On this new measure, Tarleton Academy achieved a score of +0.34 (where the scale is from -1 to +1).

  • This places us joint 6th in Lancashire (82 state secondary schools are counted in this)
  • It places us in the top 5% in the North West (557 state secondary schools)
  • It also places us in the top 15% of schools nationally
  • The national average for state schools is -0.03 and the Lancashire average is -0.11

Why has the measure changed from A*-C?

Prior to this summer, schools were judged on how many students achieved a minimum of five GCSE’s of grade C and above, including Maths and English. In summer 2015, 76% of our students achieved this measure, which is significantly above the national average of 59%.

Many perceived that the problem with this measure is that it didn’t take into account the prior abilities of the students when they joined the school. Schools whose intake is predominantly high ability students tended to do very well quite easily. The Government’s concern was that aiming to increase this percentage may sometimes have been at the expense of other factors. For example, schools only needed to make sure that students got a C or better in five subjects, including their Maths and English, which might have taken an important focus away from their other subjects. Also, this measure meant that schools were in danger of focusing on C grades, when in many cases students should have been pushed to higher grades.

In the last four years we have focused on targeting outstanding progress for all of our students in all subjects, based on their individual potential, whether this be A*, A, B, C or in some cases a D grade. This meant that we were well placed when the emphasis for the new measure changed.

What is Progress 8 (P8)? 

Progress 8 is intended to give each school a score on the average progress made by every student, based on what the expected progress for a child of their particular ability should be.

Depending on a child’s Key Stage 2 results they are then set targets for each subject. What they SHOULD achieve is their individually predicted attainment. The EIGHT subjects in the P8 measure include Maths, English, three ‘EBacc’ subjects (Science, a language, History or Geography) and three further subjects.

Each grade is assigned a number value so that we can work out numerically the difference between the grade they SHOULD achieve and the grade they DID achieve. The average difference between what they should achieve and what they did achieve in each of these eight subjects is their P8 score. If it is a minus score overall, then they didn’t do as well as they should have. A score of ‘0’ means they were in line with expectations and a positive score means they did even better than expected.

The school score is an average of all these scores divided by the number of students.

Why is some of this data different to what was published in the press release in the summer?

In the summer we reported the data for the students who were educated with us until the end of their Year 11 studies. Seven of our students were either educated in other schools, in other alternative provision or we were supporting an alternative provision elsewhere with one of their students. Consequently we did not know all of their results until we returned to school in September and it was only confirmed last week which of these students would count in our data.

Although it may seem unfair to count the results of students that we have not taught or who we understood were not formally on our roll we do understand that rules are changing all the time. Overall we have done so well that we have accepted these results as final and we are now focusing our energies on our current students and making sure we continue to achieve outstanding outcomes for all of them.

The data for the students fully on our roll and educated by us to the end of Year 11 is as follows:

  • P8 score = +0.46
  • P8 score for our girls = +0.56 (all educated with us)
  • P8 score for the boys fully on roll and educated by us = +0.36
  • 5 x A*-C Grades (the old measure) for students fully on roll and educated by us = 70%

By any calculations, this data, internal and external, is outstanding.

We are thrilled for all of our students, for our staff and our parents and we look forward to continued success in a school where we are fully committed to excellence for all, in an ethos of genuine team work and partnership.


Mrs L Gwinnett

Executive Headteacher