Why We Need a National Dataset

In what seems a different time now I used to be able to say “Jane is a level 2c writer” and my colleagues, even at a different school, would (a) have a good idea of what Jane could do and (b) where she should go next in her learning.

With the advent of the new National Curriculum we lost that shared vocabulary around attainment and with it the ease of comparing pupils across schools. However, as educators, we want to know how our students are performing relative to other settings, especially in year groups where we don’t have national data sets.

There are two issues; having access to a nationally representative dataset and being able to describe attainment in a way which is useful to all schools regardless of how their pupils are assessed.

We Can Help You

With unparalleled numbers of assessments entered using one of our pupil trackers, we are delighted to announce the Juniper National Dataset. 

We have collected current Year 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 assessments for Autumn 2 2019 from OTrack, Target Tracker and Classroom Monitor.

Of course all the data is anonymous, but we know who receives pupil premium, is SEN, etc. so we can look at contextual groups.

We chose Autumn 2 2019 as it was the last assessment before the pandemic hit and can’t include current year 1’s as they were not in Key Stage 1 last year.

That’s data from:

5,650
schools
1,400,000
pupils
23,000,000
rows of data

Regardless of the source of the data we can judge how pupils are performing against Age Related Expectations (ARE)

ARE Scale

With this approach we can develop a national dataset which will work for all schools regardless of their choice of tracker.

For Our Customers

And for the schools who use one of our pupil trackers we are going further and providing comparison data.

We will be emailing our customers with your school’s Juniper Benchmark Analysis with our complements.

Why is Benchmarking so Important?

There are many reasons, but I’ll unpick a few for you here:

Being Critical About Performance – knowing how your setting compares to the national picture is a useful starting point in deciding how you are doing as a school.

Unpicking Differences – being able to compare the performance of difference groups (boys, girls, SEN etc.) will help you determine if any groups are not reaching comparable levels of attainment.

Set Effective Targets for Improvement – being able to say where, as a school, you are in comparison with other schools will help identify areas for improvement and set a realistic target.

Set New Standards – your expectations of attainment are an important aspect of setting your school’s standards. With a good idea of how pupils perform nationally you can set your expectations to be challenging but achievable.

Get in Touch if You’re Interested to Know More

For our customers – look out for your email with your school’s comparison report shortly.

If you’d like help interpreting your data or identifying CPD opportunities, then we are here to support you.

We’re also looking forward to repeating the report with this year’s data, providing insights into the affect of the pandemic on attainment across the key stages.

If you don’t use one of our pupil trackers but would like to know more then please get in touch!

Stephan Nicholls

Stephan Nicholls

Stephan Nicholls has worked in education for over 30 years including in leadership positions and as a Headteacher. He is now an Education Adviser, mainly for Target Tracker, but also as computing subject lead and a key stage moderator.