What not to do with pupil performance data

Understand the limitations of performance data, in line with Ofsted's advice. See some common data practices that you could stop doing and other strategies to use instead, to identify what your pupils know and drive down teacher workload.

Last reviewed on 5 February 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 35406
  1. Begin your data journey
  2. Ofsted expects a ‘proportionate’ amount of data collection
  3. Don't try to make precise predictions of pupil outcomes
  4. Don't use flightpaths to track pupil performance
  5. Don't try to predict progress 8 scores
  6. Don't expect too much of assessment data
  7. Avoid analysing yearly data for very small groups

Begin your data journey

We know it can be hard to avoid some of the common data practices, especially in a culture of high-stakes accountability measures and inspections.

If you don't feel you're able to make changes right now, you can still use this article to help you make better data decisions and as starting points for discussion with your staff and stakeholders.

Note: while this article has a secondary focus, you should be able to transfer some of the principles to primary settings.

Get stakeholders on board

Your school community may be sceptical or wary of any changes to how you collect and use pupil performance data.

Refer them to the Teacher Workload Advisory Group’s report, making data work, which sets out recommendations and principles to reduce the unnecessary workload from data collection  Discuss assessment at your next governing

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