The school performance measures published in performance tables are used by Ministers to set standards in order to hold schools to account (also referred to as “floor standards” for primary and secondary schools or “minimum standards” for 16-18 education).

The school performance measures are compared against the threshold levels in pupils’ attainment and/or progress (i.e. floor/minimum standards). Schools and colleges that do not meet the standards may face a number of potential challenges and interventions from central or local government, depending on the perceived level of under-performance. In some cases, a school might receive a written warning from the government. In others, it might be subject to an inspection by Ofsted, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted). In the most extreme cases, the head teacher might be removed or the school faced with closure and replacement by an academy.

The government also uses the floor/minimum standards as one of the ways to raise standards and encourage schools/colleges to improve the quality of education. The standards have changed over time to reflect the government’s intention to set more ambitious expectations for what schools and colleges should achieve.

Detailed information about floor/minimum expected standards and performance measure since 2012 can be downloaded via this link.

Here are the floor/minimum standards for primary, secondary, and 16-19 phases in years 2015 and 2016:

Primary schools

2015

Schools will be seen as underperforming in 2015 if:

  • fewer than 65% of pupils at the end of key stage 2 (KS2) achieved level 4 or above in reading, writing and maths and
  • the school has a below median score for the percentage of pupils at the end of KS2 who made expected progress in reading and
  • the school has a below median score for the percentage of pupils at the end of KS2 who made expected progress in Writing and
  • the school has a below median score for the percentage of pupils at the end of KS2 who made expected progress in maths

Results of English grammar, punctuation and spelling tests will not be taken into account in floor standards.

2016

Schools will be above the floor if pupils make sufficient progress across all of reading, writing and mathematics or if more than 65% of them achieve the national standard in reading, writing and mathematics.

Sufficient progress will be calculated using as a value-added measure from KS1 to KS2. The precise level of ‘sufficient progress’ will not be set until the first new KS2 tests are sat in summer 2016.

Secondary schools

2015

The secondary school floor standard is the same for 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15.

A school will be below the floor standard if:

  • fewer than 40% of pupils achieve five or more GCSEs at grade A* to C or equivalent, including GCSEs (or iGCSEs) in both English and mathematics and
  • the school has a below median score for the percentage of pupils making expected progress between key stage 2 and key stage 4 in English and
  • the school has a below median score for the percentage of pupils making expected progress between key stage 2 and key stage 4 in mathematics

Schools that have chosen to opt into the new key stage 4 accountability system and floor standards will be assessed using the new ‘Progress 8’ measure. Other schools will continue to be assessed against the existing floor standard measures in 2015.

Under progress 8, a school will be below the floor standard if their score is below -0.5, unless the confidence interval suggests that the school’s underlying performance may not be below average.

2016

The performance tables and floor standards using 2016 exam results will be based entirely on the new accountability framework. The 5 A*-C including in English and maths measure will be replaced by the ‘Progress 8’ measure as the main indicator of school performance. A school will be below the floor standard if their Progress 8 score is below -0.5, unless the confidence interval suggests that the school’s underlying performance may not be below average.

16 to 18 schools and colleges

2015

In the 2014 to 2015 academic year, a school sixth form or college will be seen as underperforming if its results show that:

  • fewer than 45% of students achieve an average point score per entry in vocational qualifications of 194 points
  • fewer than 45% of students achieve an average point score per entry in academic qualifications of 172 points

It is possible for a provider to fail the vocational minimum standard or the academic minimum standard or both. If a school sixth form or college falls below either the vocational or the academic point score thresholds the department will give notice to the school or college that their performance is inadequate and needs to improve. This could be a verbal notice or a written notice. The department will adopt a similar approach with FE colleges that fall below the standard.

Further guidance can be found here.

2016

The performance tables and minimum standards using 2016 exam results will be based on the new accountability framework, as set out in this document:
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/16-to-19-accountability-consultation