Ben Fuller, Lead Assessment Adviser at Herts for Learning


And so to the second part in this series (of undefined length – might turn into a box-set) of RAISEonline Brain teasers. If you missed part 1, it’s here. You might also find this a useful discussion about a key difference between the unvalidated and the validated KS2 data.

This post features 2 frequently (ish) asked questions, together with answers.

Q1. Why do the numbers of pupils in the 3 prior attainment groups not add up to the total number of pupils in the cohort?

(For example, in the image above, the 3 figures that I have encircled in blue show that this cohort had 10 pupils in the ‘Low’ prior attainment group, 26 in the ‘Middle’ and 12 in the ‘High’. 10+26+12 = 48 pupils. But the total cohort is shown as 58. So 10 pupils are missing.)

A: The missing pupils will be children who have no measure of prior attainment, so they cannot be allocated to a prior attainment group. For example, maybe they were not in the country at the previous key stage. Or perhaps a teacher assessment of ‘A’ was submitted at the previous key stage (which would be the case if the child had been absent for a large amount of time, making it impossible to determine a teacher assessment level).

Q2. Why do the numbers of pupils in the 3 prior attainment groups shown in RAISEonline differ from the numbers shown in Inspection Dashboard?


Compare the Inspection Dashboard image above with the RAISEonline image at the top. These 2 images are from the same school, same data-set (KS2 Reading outcomes).

Why does Inspection Dashboard show prior attainment group sizes of 12, 27 and 9 pupils in low, middle and high groups respectively, whereas RAISEonline shows groups of 10, 26 and 12?

A: The difference is because Inspection Dashboard is grouping children according to their prior attainment in that same subject (i.e. in this case, reading) whereas RAISEonline groups the children according to their overall prior attainment from the previous key stage. (If looking at KS2 data, the prior attainment is based on children’s KS1 attainment in reading, writing and maths – but with maths given equal weighting to reading & writing combined).

When looking at prior attainment by individual subject, categorising the pupils is fairly straightforward – Level 3s are ‘High’, Level 2s are ‘Middle’, Level 1s and below are ‘Low’.

When using the ‘Overall’ prior attainment, an Average Point Score of 18 or higher is ‘High’, 12-17.9 is ‘Middle’, below 12 is ‘Low’.

So, in the example shown here, there are 9 children in the Reading High prior attainment group, i.e. they achieved level 3 at KS1. But there are 12 children in the overall High group shown in RAISEonline – meaning 3 extra children whose level in reading was below a level 3, but whose overall APS is at least 18 – most likely because they achieved level 3 in maths.

To really unpick what is going on, look at the pupil level data (Pupil List in RAISEonline – or look in your own internal management information system) to see how children have been categorised.

Arguably, the Inspection Dashboard way of doing things makes more sense (in my opinion) – and this is the more significant of the two documents when it comes to how Ofsted use the data pre-inspection.

Why are there these differences between the two documents?

Afraid I can’t answer that one…

NB – when looking at the Progress elements in Inspection Dashboard, the pupil groupings are by overall prior attainment group, not by individual subject. All of the above relates to the Attainment data.

That (probably) concludes my blogging for this term. But more brain teasers to follow in the New Year. I hope you can all cope with the antici…