VA Calculator (historical)

Insight used to offer the VA Calculator to allow schools to estimate what their progress scores would be prior to the official results, and to evaluate the impact of particular pupils on the overall cohort score. After taking advice, we decided to remove the VA calculator from Insight in June 2019.

Predicting value added measures has always been a tricky business, and Ofsted have said that they don't expect schools to do this as part of their myth-busting articles.

Ofsted does not require schools to predict their attainment and progress scores. It is impossible to predict attainment and progress as examination and test results for each cohort are compared nationally and this cannot be done until after the examinations or tests. (Source, p.3)

While it is possible to make some guess at what value added scores will be by using the previous year's figures and methodologies, we don't know in advance what the final methodology for the current cohort will be (eg we don't know the prior attainment groups or the KS2 averages for each group). For 2018-19 there's the added complication that we don't know what nominal scores will be assigned to the new pre key stage standards. Our concern is that putting these kind of guestimates into a paid-for system like Insight may give them an inflated appearance of validity.

James Pembroke does have an Excel version of the VA Calculator, for schools who would like to continue doing this analysis in advance. Please do treat any data with caution, especially that relating to pupils with pre-key stage assessments.


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