PIVATS and the Progression Guidance Project
The National Strategies' Progression Guidance Project (PGP) aims to improve data to raise attainment and maximise the progress of learners with SEN, learning difficulties and disabilities (LDD) and copies of the guidance have now been distributed for schools. It is anticipated that the project will eventually provide a mechanism through which schools can demonstrate the progress made by pupils with SEN/LDD through benchmarking against a national database which uses P Level data whilst also providing a framework for schools to judge the degree of ambition in their target-setting. The publication consists of a document providing guidance and a number of data sets which should be downloaded from the National Strategies website (details below).
At the request of schools and LAs the guidance includes a point score system which will enable all schools to differentiate attainment within P Levels using a nationally agreed numerical value in the form of National Curriculum Point Scores (Data set 1 - Appendix 1.0a and 1.0b).
Ofsted Inspectors and School Improvement Partners are likely to use the contents of the document as a starting point for discussions in relation to the progress of pupils with SEN/LDD. Schools may wish to consider the following points when responding to any issues raised.
The project applies to pupils whose starting points are within P Levels, however, the guidance can also apply to pupils who are not attaining age related expectations but who do not have SEN. Pupils with SEN who are operating at or close to age-related expectations are not included.
The project is in its early stages. Through the use of PIVATS, many schools will have better data than that offered through the PGP at this stage. Whilst Data Set 1 uses data collected on the attainments of all pupils, it only uses Level W to represent the attainment of pupils working below national expectations and cannot demonstrate small steps achievement for pupils whose progress is solely within P Levels. Data Set 2 provides a commentary on the findings of the P Level data collection which took place in summer 2008 but does not illustrate pupil achievement as it is only based on one year's data. Data Set 3 contains P Level data collected for 2007 from a number of different sources. It illustrates pupil achievement from key stage to key stage and, by implication, expectations for pupil progress which could be used in target setting. It does not, however, include all of the relevant pupils nationally and is based on available samples. This data set provides a good indication of the likely format of data to be presented to schools as the national database of P Level results builds over the years.
Three key principles are identified within the document which underpin actions to support the achievement of the aims of the project. They are:
1. High expectations are key to ensuring good progress - When asked to provide a suggested target, the PIVATS Data Collection Website target setting process uses the median scores for individual pupils as a starting point for schools to consider. These are drawn from the extensive database of pupils entered by subscribing schools nationally. The PGP asserts that the sole use of historic data will not provide sufficient challenge to raise standards for LDD pupils and that, wherever possible, targets should be set in line with the highest performing learners. Schools may thus need to consider targets above those offered initially within PIVATS. Where this is not possible, knowledge of the pupil is important. For more complex pupils, the target offered through PIVATS may be too challenging, e.g. a pupil with a moderate learning difficulty who also has a visual impairment or perhaps ASD. In such cases, schools should be prepared to demonstrate a good understanding of the nature of good progress for these pupils.
2. Accurate assessment is essential to securing and measuring pupil progress - The measurement of the attainment of pupils within P Levels and PIVATS relies heavily on Teacher Assessment. Schools need to be confident that this assessment is accurate and consistent, not only within the school but also beyond the school. It is worth considering collaborative working between clusters of schools in order to promote consistency and accuracy. Participation in such an initiative would provide good supporting evidence of a desire to meet this principle.
3. Age and prior attainment are the starting points for developing expectations of pupil progress - The mechanism applied in the PIVATS target setting process, which is employed on the data website uses both age and prior attainment as a starting point and provides a good starting point in meeting this key principle.
In summary, the national dataset is in its early stages. Schools should be able to demonstrate a good understanding of their pupils, the nature of their SEN and what good progress looks like in real terms as it applies to the individual. The small steps approach of PIVATS can provide good supporting information in this area. Adherence to the principles above will enable schools to demonstrate that they are on a path of continuous improvement in promoting the progress of pupils with LDD.
Finding the data sets on line: www.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/national strategies Then use the search facility using references: 00646-2009DWO-EN-01 00647-2009DWO-EN-01 00648-2009DWO-EN-01 (page 13 of booklet)
This information on this page is based on the Progression Guidance first published in 2009. The latest data set published in 2010 should also be available from the National Strategies archives.