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News8th February 2016

How does your school compare? Assembly launches free benchmarking tool for state secondaries

Assembly, a new education data venture from Ark and technology charity Neon, today launches their free Secondary School Benchmarking Tool, which distills Key Stage 4 (GCSE and equivalent) data into a series of easy-to-interpret measures and visualisations. Schools, parents and governors are invited to select their chosen school to see how it performs compared to schools locally and nationally against a number of key measures.

The tool is available on the Assembly website for free and does not require any registration or downloads to use.

The tool is structured around the new 2016 Key Stage 4 headline measures: Progress 8, Attainment 8, Ebacc, and A*-C in English & Mathematics. It excludes the previous headline benchmark of 5+ GCSEs at A*-C including English & Mathematics, since it is being phased out, and has at times given a distorted view of a school’s performance. The new measures offer a more rounded picture of performance in context, in particular by prioritising pupil progress

The tool also shows school performance as a percentile, rather than an average, allowing for more meaningful local and national comparisons. Since the percentiles on Progress 8 and Attainment 8 are based on the 327 schools that opted in for these measures, the tool also includes Best 8 Value added and Best 8 APS, since these measures serve as useful proxies for Progress 8 and Attainment 8 for those schools who have not opted in this year.

“There’s a clear need for a free tool that brings together public data on individual schools in an intuitive and interactive manner. We’ve built a benchmarking app that makes it easier to explore public data, and offer more meaningful insight into the overall picture of school performance. We show progress and attainment measures side by side (emphasising the progress measures) to give a school an improved understanding of their overall performance and their relative strengths and weaknesses.” Rachel Bruce, Data Analyst at Assembly

Assembly, which aims to transform the way schools collect and analyse data, particularly in relation to assessment, will be launching a full benchmarking app on the Assembly Platform in the coming months covering Key Stages 2, 4 and 5, as well as destinations and Ofsted data. You can read more about Assembly in School’s Week.