Progress Measures

Progress Measures or Value Added

The DfE have published draft results for the Summer 22 results including the Value Added or Progress Scores.  This is the first set of performance tables for three years and also the first that uses the KS2 scaled scores (ie figures between 80 and 120) rather than the previous KS2 levels (that scored from 2 to 6). 

Value Added scores:

School scores do not take into account any school level differences and what that might mean for students’ progress eg

  • If a school has a higher (or lower) number of disadvantaged or social need students than the national average
  • If a school selects by ability or through some sort of testing, or does not
  • If a school’s parents have progressed to Higher Education, or have not
  • If students, after covid, found it easier or harder to pick up their schooling and catch up

This is why progress scores are a good starting point for questions but do not tell all of the story.  In themselves, they do not indicate how an individual student will do at a particular school.

How has Year 11 in Summer 2022 done? And what does that mean for the school?

When we first looked at the score, we were very disappointed as the score looked as if our students were not making the progress we expected despite all the work put into curriculum and teaching.  We have therefore looked in more detail as to how the progress scores work for individual students at the school, bearing in mind the hugely different impacts that covid has had on different families.

What we have found out:

There are lots of students who have made expected progress or better. For example:

  • the top third of the year group (looking at progress) have an average VA figure of 0.84 (nearly one grade higher than expected)
  • the top and middle third combined have an overall VA figure of 0.19

The groups of students above have done very well, and better than national expectations.  However, it also shows that: 

  • there is a huge variation in performance for individuals within the school reflecting different strengths and challenges each child may have.
  • performance very much reflects the individual stories behind children as well as what the school itself does.    

General trends – about groups of children:

We know that students who attend well are being taught well and making good progress.

The following groups all had average results that were line with national outcomes for their starting scores in KS2 ie they performed as expected when looking at the averages across every child in that group:

Description of Group


Higher attainers

Higher attainers have scores in line with expected outcomes in: English, Mathematics, Ebacc (best 3 outcomes in Sciences, Humanities, Languages) and Overall.  It should be noted that the average attendance of this group was over 90% in Year 11.

Students whose attendance was greater than 85% in Year 11

The group with 90%+ figures did better than the group including those below 85%  but overall, the average score for this group was in line with national progress figures in: English, Mathematics, Ebacc (best 3 outcomes in Sciences, Humanities, Languages) and Overall.

Pupil Premium students with attendance greater than 90%

The average score for this group was in line with national expectations for all students (ie not just pupil premium) in: English, Mathematics, Ebacc (best 3 outcomes in Sciences, Humanities, Languages) and Overall.


Those with the lowest progress scores in the year group:

There were 29 students who had the lowest VA scores in Oaks Park High School and also made a major contribution to the negative school score.  This group had an average attendance of 60% (the same as missing 2 days every week) with exam results that were more than 2 grades below where they could have been.

We can not, and should not, remove them from the progress scores.  However, if we put their progress scores to one side, then the school progress measure would be very different and be in line with national figures.

Are we different from other schools in how poor attendance has impacted upon results?

Yes and No.

Not different in that: 

All schools have had more disrupted patterns of attendance both in terms of school closure as well as through the waves of the virus last year that led to greater absences from school for students and staff.   This year group missed being in school, relying on good work habits to keep up with remote work, as follows:

  • from March to July in Year 9 (national lockdown)
  • from January to March in Year 10 (national lockdown)

Yes, different because:

  • During Years 7 and 8, students missed out on the basic foundations in Humanities, Art, Music, Drama, Technology (due to the alternative curriculum on offer in the predecessor school). 
  • Compared to national figures, the year group had more disadvantaged students with approximately 50% more than the national average figure.  This group was particularly impacted by lockdown, in terms of falling behind and with some students failing to re-engage properly with their education
  • The year group had higher levels of social need than the normal for Sutton.  This group has again been impacted adversely during lockdown, more so than other families.

Priorities for the forthcoming year:

  • Encouraging all students to aim for maximum attendance.  Missing school means that students are not in school to be taught and end up with gaps in their knowledge and fall behind even when other work can be set.  In addition, not being school increases safeguarding risks – whether mental health or being vulnerable to harmful influences. 
  • Continuing to build upon curriculum, teaching and learning advances
  • Using the value added outcomes to look at particular subjects or student groups where more can be done, and putting strategies into place. 

Quick reference guide to Value Added Scores:

  1. The government takes the scores from KS2 exams and uses the average of the Reading and Mathematics scaled scores to give a “base line”.  (The scaled scores take the raw scores and turn them into a mark between 80 and 120.  Nationally, the Summer 2022 cohorts scored an average score of 104, with 66 percent above 100)
  1. The government put students with similar KS2 “baselines” into the same group and then average out the KS4 exam results that they get.  These average KS4 results are the  “expected” outcomes for this group ie children with the same average KS2 starting points
  2. For each student in each group, they take the “expected” outcomes and then compare these with the actual exam results the individual got.  The difference is called “value added” and may be positive (showing exam results greater than “expected”) or negative (showing exam results for the student are lower than “expected”).
  3. The government average these “value added” scores for all the students going to a particular school to get a “school score”.  This is what you see in the performance tables.