We’ve updated our free benchmarking tool to include 2016 primary results.

It’s always been difficult to wade through mountains of public data to understand your school’s performance in context. This task is arguably even more important - and more difficult - when all the performance measures have changed. Assembly’s newly-updated benchmarking tool is designed to help you make sense of the new measures, and understand your school’s 2016 results in a national context.

Here’s a quick reminder of our key principles for designing school dashboards:

  • Data exploration should be interactive and intuitive, so we make it easy to drill down from the high-level summary into the more detailed picture.
  • Public data should be free, so we’ll never charge for benchmarking resources.
  • Comparison to the average isn’t enough. Simply knowing you’re above or below average isn’t sufficient to know the areas in which you are truly excelling or lagging behind. So while we include averages in many places, we prefer to contextualise data in more granularity by using percentiles.
  • Contextualising the data should be intuitive, so we have included explanations and colour coding to make it easier to interpret percentiles.

Our newly-revamped primary tool shows the new 2016 headline measures: average progress in reading, writing and maths; percentage of pupils achieving the expected standard in RWM; and percentage of students achieving a high score in RWM. We’ve chosen to focus on headline measures for the obvious reason that they’re the key metrics on which schools are held to account. We’ve also stuck to our principle of prioritising progress over attainment measures.

As ever we are keen for your thoughts and feedback. Whether you love it or hate it, feel enlightened or confused, we want to know what you think. Please email rachel@assembly.education to share your feedback.

For those interested in secondary, we updated the secondary benchmarking tool back in October to include 2016 provisional data. Since this is only a limited data release, the tool is a slimmed-down version at this stage. Hold tight for a further update when the full performance tables come out in the middle of January 2017.