What is value added & how does it work?

(12 Posts)
Coveredinweetabix Sun 27-Oct-13 21:36:09

We went and looked around the primary school where DD is more than likely to start in September. Its got a good reputation but I was trying to work out whether it relies on this and the fact its in a nice leafy middle class suburb so may have more able children, more involved parents etc than some schools. The HT was waffling on about how brilliant their value added was and I asked for the score. At which point she got all defensive, asked what I was talking about, how I knew about it etc. She eventually told me the score was 103. Is that that good? I'm assuming that the norm is 100 so 103 doesn't seem that great but I have no idea!

friday16 Sun 27-Oct-13 22:56:50

She eventually told me the score was 103

If this is England and Wales, they're normally centered on 1000, not 100. Look it up in the DfE tables. Small schools have quite wide error bars on the value add, so you need to look at the upper and lower limits as well.

prh47bridge Sun 27-Oct-13 23:18:19

If you look it up in the DfE tables you will find that they are indeed centred on 100, not 1000 as friday16 says. A value of 101 means that on average each pupil made 1 terms more progress than in an average school. So a value of 103 means that pupils in this school are making a full year's more progress which is very good.

friday16 Mon 28-Oct-13 08:03:28

Ah, sorry: I'm interested in secondaries. And to do your head in, KS4 value add is centered on 1000, while KS2 is centred on 100.

missinglalaland Mon 28-Oct-13 09:11:23

The defensiveness would be a warning bell for me. Try this website
schoolguide.co.uk

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 28-Oct-13 09:49:06

103 seems remarkably high - does any school really ever get this? 100.3 would be more likely wouldn't it? I have to say I think the HT would be shouting an added value score of 103 from the rooftops not being defensive about it. I went to look around a school where the added value was about 101.5 and they were saying they were among the top for added value in the area and were very proud of it.

Bakingtins Mon 28-Oct-13 10:02:32

Being above 102 would put them in the top 5% of schools in the country. 103 means all pupils make a years worth more progress than the national average in KS2. I suspect it's actually 100.3 which means the pupils make the expected amount of progress between 7 and 11.

Bakingtins Mon 28-Oct-13 10:03:05

Do look it up and let us know, OP!

prh47bridge Mon 28-Oct-13 10:13:42

Schools do get 103 and higher. The highest VA score in 2012 was 105.3. In total 88 schools achieved a score of 103 or higher so it is rare (less than 0.5% of primary schools) but not unheard of. At the other end of the scale was a school that only managed a VA score of 95.3.

A score of 103 is certainly not something about which a school should be defensive. It is possible that the head has previously encountered parents who don't understand VA scores (that would probably be most parents!) and who thought, like the OP, that 103 doesn't sound that great and therefore thought it undermined the head's claims. Of course, if the score is actually 100.3 rather than 103 that is good but not outstanding.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 28-Oct-13 23:08:25

Thanks for the info about 103 being exceptional but not absolutely unheard of. You do wonder what a school was doing to get only 95% for added value.

Did you look it up OP? Was the HT as defensive as they seemed of just bashful about giving the figures to prospective parents?

Coveredinweetabix Mon 11-Nov-13 17:03:28

Sorry, belatedly coming back to this thread having had a hectic few days. Thanks for the links to the DfE pages which I hadn't seen before and which contain some interesting info. The value added is 101.3 so not as good as she said but, from your posts, still pretty good and, given the number she gave and what it was, an understandable mistake to make (I write doubtfully!). I'm still not sure why she was being defensive as it is a good score. She did say she'd never been asked that question before so perhaps she was simply surprised to have been asked. Hmmm. I didn't warm to the lady at all.

admission Mon 11-Nov-13 17:58:06

101.3 with a school in a leafy suburb, where the level on entry is likely to be quite high compared with many schools, I would say is fairly good. Could I suggest you go onto the Ofsted data dashboard website http://dashboard.ofsted.gov.uk/ and see what that says for the school. It will be 2012 data not 2013 data (that will not be out till February) but it might give you an idea of where the school was in 2012.
With that kind of VA I would not be being defensive I would be shouting it out loud, so it is a bit worrying as to how defensive the head was.

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