PARENTS

What Are Scaled Scores? How To Decode Your Child's School Report

The traditional 'levels' have now been abolished.

25/05/2016 10:02

Parents will be receiving their children's school reports at the end of the academic year and once again the marking system has changed.

After the new National Curriculum was introduced in 2014, the Standards and Testing Agency (STA) abolished the use of levels to record children's progress. 

As part of the National Curriculum review, 'scaled scores' were introduced.

"This is in part in response to concerns about the validity and reliability of levels and sub-levels," the Department for Education (DfE) wrote.

"Levels have also been recognised as the driver of undue pace through the curriculum, which has led to gaps in pupils’ knowledge."

Willie B. Thomas via Getty Images

HuffPost UK Parents asked educational consultancy JK Educate about how to understand the information on your child's report.

"The most important thing for parents to understand is that levels have gone," explained Lorrae Jaderberg, co-founder of JK Educate.

"The government will publish charts in July 2016 that schools will use for report purposes and they will try to equate them with the expected end of KS1, KS2 levels to make it meaningful."

What are scaled scores?

A pupil’s scaled score will be based on their raw score - the raw score is the total number of marks a pupil receives in a National Curriculum test (including SATs), based on the number of questions they answered correctly.

The pupil’s raw score will be translated into a scaled score using a conversion table to compare it to the national average. A scaled score of 100 will always represent the "national standard". 

A pupil who achieves the national standard will have demonstrated "sufficient knowledge in the areas assessed by the tests", according to the DfE. 

At KS1 the national standard will roughly equate to an old level 2B. At KS2 this will roughly equate to an old level 4B. 

"Scaled scores help test results to be reported consistently from one year to the next," a spokesperson for the DfE explained.

"These scores maintain their meaning over time so that two pupils achieving the same scaled score on two different tests will have demonstrated the same attainment.

"The actual scale will be set once the KS2 tests that have just been sat are marked – this will be available in July 2016."

What should be included on my child's school report? 

"Headteachers will need to include results from the national curriculum tests in their annual reports to parents," Jaderberg explained.

"They will need to report the pupil’s scaled score and whether or not they met the national standard."

For test results, each pupil registered for the tests will receive: a raw score (number of raw marks awarded), their scaled score and confirmation of whether or not they attained the national standard.

If children are in KS1, parents should also be given a written summary of a pupil’s attainment against the Early Learning Goals (ELGs).

"ELGs are are levels of progress that pupils are expected to attain," the DfE spokesperson explained.

The ELGs, listed in more detail here, cover 17 different goals including "listening and understanding", "numbers", "reading" and "self confidence". 

For each ELG, the report must state whether the pupil is:

• Meeting expected levels of development

• Exceeding expected levels, or

• Not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’).

According to the government, all reports must state a child's "general progress" and their attendance records. 

For more information on the new 'scaled scores', visit the Department of Education's website

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