The Statsman Cometh: DfE propose Valued Added as the only indicator for Academy Chains and Local Authorities

Unless we get a different government (and we won’t) Academy Chains and Local Authorities are going to be judged exclusively on their Value Added (that’s right the 1000 something thingy).

The Governments Value Added has been around for a long time, but let’s face it it’s been about as popular as Ebola.

DfE has always pushed it as a main means of evaluating schools effectiveness and OFSTED were always supposed to take it into account, despite proof otherwise.

But anyone that has been anywhere near schools will know it’s the statistic that may not be mentioned in polite circles.

Nothing is more effective at stalling a discussion about performance than mentioning Valued Added; eye muscles twitch, faces flush, spines contort, ties are examined, crickets can be heard and tumbleweed bounces down boardroom tables until someone thinks of a way of changing the subject. Educators view on Value Added is unanimous; ignore it for long enough and it will go away.

Well…its back.

The reason its back is that the DfE think it’s the only fair way of comparing between Local Authorities and Academy Chains. This is because many high performing schools leave LAs to join chains, so any measure based on attainment will artificially favour chains.

The reason it can’t be brushed under the carpet any more is that Valued Added is the only statistic they are proposing using. So, the conversation between the HMI and the CEO of an Academy Chain or Mayor has to be “why are your schools 996 and not 1004”?

Before you think this can be ignored as well, you should know key groups have already said, in the clearest possible terms, that this proposal is too complex and too poorly understood to gain currency, and met with a brick wall. There are signs data literacy is expected among those on 100K+.

So if you are a manager in a Local Authority or an Academy chain either get your pencils and paper out and get confident with VA or get voting.

For hugely helpful overview see the BBC’s Chris Cook

Here are the highest and lowest on the graphic



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