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OFSTED RESPONSE TO SECONDARY HEADS ASSOCIATION NEWS RELEASE ON SCHOOLS DATA

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SHA's statement is not only ancient history but fundamentally flawed. ...
SHA's statement is not only ancient history but fundamentally flawed.

Point 1: Free school meals benchmarking is not OFSTED's data. It is QCA's and DfEE's. It is policy that government bodies use the same data.

Point 2: OFSTED and the chief inspector have said for a long time that FSM is a far from perfect tool and have called for a value added prior attainment approach.

Point 3: The fact remains, as SHA well knows, that no such system exists on a national basis. If Tony Neal thinks otherwise he should take his system to David Blunkett immediately and save taxpayers a fortune.

Point 4: In the meantime OFSTED uses available data to produce PANDAs for each school as a private management tool to help headteachers. Heads are free to use that information as they see fit. This year, for the first time, we have used proxy value added data based on KS3 to KS4 and KS1 to KS2 results. But the PANDAs carry a

very clear health warning about the relative merits of these different approaches, as SHA is aware.

Point 5: OFSTED does not mislead parents. Parents have access to OFSTED inspection reports, which are very much more than a statistical analysis. Judging from the massive usage of our web site, parents value this information very highly.

Point 6: SHA should have consulted their members before issuing this statement. OFSTED has issued 25,000 PANDAs and asked for headteachers' comments. Many schools have responded positively and virtually none has criticised the statistics.

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