Today we launch the most comprehensive guide ever to state-funded primary schools, rating schools on their results, teaching, progress and attendance.
The ranking system uses 33 different measures, put together from publicly available data covering up to the 2012/13 school year, broken into four indicators.
National league tables only look at Key Stage 2 results, which may mean schools which help all pupils make progress but only get slightly better than average results overall may be overlooked.
Our ranking system aims to move beyond just looking at Key Stage 2 results as a measure of how good schools are and to give parents an idea of which schools will help their child prosper, no matter what their background is.
As a result, the league table tries to factor in other things as well, like whether all pupils are making progress (not just those expected to get top grades), what attendance is like, the ratio of teachers to pupils and whether pupils are doing better than expected.
Attainment is worth 30% of the total score – this based on pupils’ Key Stage 2 performance in 2013 and how it compares to 2012 and 2008. This measures whether a school is getting top marks and if it is managing to improve year on year.
Teaching is worth 40% of the score – it is based on how well different types of pupil at all levels of attainment do in comparison to expectations and how well the school does at closing the gender gap – measuring how teachers are helping pupils do the best they can. It also looks at how big the pupil/teacher ratio is in comparison to the national average as well as teachers’ average salaries.
Progress is worth 20% and is based on whether pupils at different levels of attainment and from disadvantaged backgrounds are making progress between the end of infants and the end of juniors.
Attendance looks at levels of absence, unauthorised absence and persistent absence at the school, and is worth 10% of the total score.
Different measures are given weightings based on how important they are likely to be to parents – so percentage of pupils achieving at Level 4 or above in Key Stage 2 English and Maths in 2013 is worth a maximum of 12 points and the value added score is worth 10, while difference between average teacher salary in 2012/13 and national average is worth just two.
Scores are worked out by giving the best performing school in each category top marks, with all other schools receiving points adjusted according to their performance in comparison. Schools where performance is below average receive negative points up to a maximum of –0.5.
Scores for each measure are then added together to get a total score for indicator and all the scores are added together to get a total, which were adjusted to give an official score that does not include negative numbers.
Stars are allocated by ranking all the scores in order for each indicator and then splitting schools into five groups.
Not all schools have data for every measure – some schools have only opened in the last year or two, others are so tiny the data has been suppressed to avoid identifying pupils. Schools are not penalised for not having data, only schools with below average performance receive negative points, but not having data means they can not score extra points for that measure, potentially putting them behind schools that do not have missing data.