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Schools: Contextual Value Added

House of Lords written question – answered on 19th January 2011.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

To ask Her Majesty's Government on what academic evidence they relied in deciding to end the use of contextual value added in relation to schools performance.

Photo of Lord Hill of Oareford Lord Hill of Oareford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Research conducted by Allen and Burgess in 2010, Evaluating the Provision of School Performance Information for School Choice found that CVA is a less strong predictor of how well a child will do academically than raw attainment measures. We have decided to end the use of contextual value added because the measure is difficult for the public to understand and because we feel it is wrong to support a measure which entrenches low expectations of certain groups of pupils. However, it is important to reflect what a school does to bring out the best in all its pupils, regardless of where they start from. This is why one of the key changes we have announced is the introduction of a new school floor standard which is based on measures of both attainment and progression. It will identify and offer support to schools below the floor. In addition, we will also publish all available information which we hold on schools in an easily accessible online format. This will enable schools, parents, governors and the public to view, analyse and judge schools' performance on whichever information they feel is important.

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