A new approach to comparing schools, standards-based comparison, has been launched by Assembly, the schools data platform.
Their new tool, Assembly Analytics, focuses on metrics that can be tied to a standardised scale in order to create reliable national benchmarks, to improve the quality of data used to compare schools across the country. The tool has been created in collaboration with two of the country’s most respected multi-academy trusts, Ark and Reach4.
Assembly Analytics combines core operational metrics such as attendance, exclusions and financial health with standardised assessment data from leading industry names including GL Assessment, Rising Stars, Renaissance Learning and Sharing Standards.
Ark have been incubating Assembly for the past two years to help tackle the acute challenge facing MATs when it comes to examining performance across a broad range of schools. Reach4 became an Assembly Strategic Partner in the second half of 2016 because of a similar frustration with the limited options available for MATs wishing to see a single, combined dashboard of all their main performance indicators. Assembly’s tool incorporates insights and best practice from both organisations, and builds on technology developed in-house by Ark.
An important innovation of Assembly Analytics is that it incorporates standardised assessment data from leading industry providers, allowing academy trusts to benchmark their schools using reliable progress and attainment metrics. A key challenge for academy trusts until now has been to find a way to compare academic performance with confidence outside of the national end-of-key-stage exams. Now, using standardised data from GL Assessment, Rising Stars’ PiRA and PUMA assessments, Renaissance Star Assessments and Sharing Standards, they will be able to do so for every year group, multiple times per year.
Assembly Analytics can also integrate with the Management Information Systems (MIS) used by 98% of English schools, meaning that their analytics tool will work even for trusts that have a variety of MIS in use across the group.
Libby Nicholas, CEO, Reach4: “With 15 academies now part of the Reach4 family, having a common platform that enables us to compare data is absolutely critical. Assembly is playing an important role right across Reach4 as we deliver on our promise of an education that inspires beyond measure.”
Daisy Christodoulou, Head of Assessment at Ark, Author, and Member of the Commission for Assessment without Levels: "Objective, reliable and comparable data is crucial for school self-evaluation, but it is also very hard to find. Assembly offers a solution to this problem."
Joshua Perry, Director, Assembly: “We know that great analytics can help schools to improve student outcomes, but too often we find that Multi Academy Trusts struggle to access good quality comparative data. That’s why we’ve put standardised assessments at the heart of Assembly Analytics. We’re truly delighted to be working with such a wide range of impressive leaders in education and assessment as we build a game-changing approach to understanding and interpreting school data.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Assembly is a non-profit education data venture jointly founded by Ark, an education charity and UK academy trust, and NEON Foundation, the philanthropic arm of a family office. Assembly aims to transform the way schools use data to inform decision-making. Assembly’s cloud-based data platform allows different products to talk to each other and share valuable data. The platform also offers schools easy to understand, visual analytics combining data from across multiple systems. Assembly doesn’t replace existing systems; it connects them.
Ark is an international charity transforming lives through education. They exist to ensure that every young person, regardless of their background has access to a great education and real choices in life.
In the UK, they operate a network of 35 schools, educating more than 21,000 young people across Birmingham, Hastings, London and Portsmouth. They also run (or helped to incubate) a range of programmes including Frontline, Ambition School Leadership, Mathematics Mastery and Assembly. Internationally, their Education Partnerships Group works with governments and education organisations to create the environment for schools to flourish.
Reach4 is a Multi Academy Trust that was set up as part of the DfE Northern Education Fund initiative. The Trust runs primary, secondary and post 16 provision with a specific focus on an all through aspirational Reach education. Reach4 has been set up with the explicit aim of contributing to educational excellence in the North and to ensure social equity through an outstanding holistic education. There are now 15 academies in Reach4.
About GL Assessment
GL Assessment is the leading provider of benchmarking, formative and diagnostic assessments to UK schools and has a growing presence in British, bilingual and international schools in over 100 countries worldwide.
About Rising Stars
Rising Stars is a leading provider of assessment resources for primary schools, with over 11,000 schools trusting their range of new curriculum formative, summative and standardised assessments. The popular PiRA (reading) and PUMA (maths) tests are termly, standardised assessments that provide a diagnostic profile for each child and a reliable basis for predicting future progress.
About Renaissance Learning
Renaissance Learning UK Ltd. is a leading provider of cloud-based assessments for over 1.3m students of all ages, in more than 5,000 schools in the UK & Ireland. Renaissance Star Assessments for reading, maths and early learning incorporate learning progressions developed by experts at NFER – so they identify not only the skills students know but also the skills they are ready to learn next. Star Assessments offer norm referenced standardised scores for the UK and Republic of Ireland. In 2016, primary and secondary pupils completed more than 3.5million Star tests in reading and maths. Renaissance Accelerated Reader and Renaissance Accelerated Maths programmes personalise practice for every student, motivating them to make progress and allowing teachers accurately to monitor their growth.
About Sharing Standards
Sharing Standards is a quicker, more reliable method of assessing Year 6 writing. They use Comparative Judgement to provide a modern and exciting approach to teacher-led assessment that delivers quicker, more accurate grading of pupils’ work to support Year 6 writing moderation.
For more information, please contact:
Joshua Perry, Director, Assembly