Coronavirus: School data moratorium guidance published

New DfE guidance offers clarification on the abolition of accountability measures this year owing to pandemic disruption

DfE guidance on accountability

The Department for Education says schools and colleges should not use the 2020 exams data as part of their teacher performance management process.

Following the cancellation of exams – including GCSEs, A levels and Sats – owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the DfE has this afternoon published new guidance confirming that schools and colleges will not be held to account on the basis of exams and assessment data from summer 2020.

The DfE has already said that this year’s exam data will not be used for school performance data, but today’s document sheds more detail on the abolition of accountability measures.

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It states that bodies such as Ofsted, Department for Education regional teams and local authorities, should use data from previous years when assessing school and college performance, and not the 2020 data.

It says performance tables that were due to be released in October and December 2020, and in January and March 2021, will not be published.

And exam regulator Ofqual has already said that teachers themselves will decide what grades pupils receive at GCSE and A level.

The DfE guidance states: “Data will not be used by others, such as Ofsted and local authorities, to hold schools and colleges to account.

“We will not be publishing school, college or multi-academy trust (MAT) level performance data based on summer 2020 tests, assessments and exams at any phase.

“We will not be publishing, or sharing, school, college or MAT level accountability measures, such as Progress 8 and level 3 value added, using the summer 2020 data.”

Regards primary school assessments, the DfE says it will not publish any national, regional, local or constituency statistics for any primary school assessments for the 2019 to 2020 academic year.

This includes: early years foundation stage profile, phonics, key stage 1, multiplication tables check, key stage 2.

The guidance adds: "We will not run the primary, secondary or 16 to 18 school and college performance data checking exercises and will not return any pupil level or institution level data on the 2020 grades to schools and colleges.

"We will not use the 2020 exams data when setting criteria in other areas, such as teaching schools, English and maths hubs and free school applications.”

The full guidance can be found here.

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Dave Speck

Dave Speck is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @Specktator100

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