‘Nobody expected all the losers to look the same’

Shock at discovery that Progress 8 loads the system against the white working-class

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Headteacher Ian Butterfield first thought something was seriously wrong with the accountability system when a neighbouring school received a visit from Ofsted. The secondary had just won a national pupilpremium award, but after the inspection, it was placed immediately into special measures.

Butterfield says he suspected the school had come a cropper because of its low score on Progress 8, the government’s headline secondary accountability measure. Having previously worked as a research scientist before going into teaching, he decided to dig into the data. “I was convinced that there was a ...

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