SAT leads in primary pupil attainment

A new report by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) has found The Spencer Academies Trust to be a leading academy chain for impact on pupil attainment at primary level.

School Performance in Academy Chains and Local Authorities – 2017 assesses the performance of academy chains and local authorities within primary and secondary schools.

The data compared pupil attainment, taking into account historic characteristics including pupil prior attainment and disadvantage. The results present a clear picture of performance at trust and local authority level, adjusting for differences in pupil intake.

At primary level, the Harris Federation was found to be the highest performing academy chain in the country. The Spencer Academies Trust ranked second, with results which led the field outside London.

London schools have historically out-performed results obtained across the rest of the country, with on average almost two and a half times fewer of the lowest-performing pupils as schools in the rest of England.

In comparison, the results obtained by Spencer schools have been achieved within some of the lowest performing local authorities for primary attainment in the country, including Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Measured against both academy chains and local authorities, Spencer primaries took twelfth place – just out-performing Islington.

The Spencer Academies Trust was not included in the 2017 secondary attainment tables having grown rapidly in 2017 and 2018. Three years of historic data was required for inclusion in the rankings, making Spencer one to watch at secondary level from 2018.

The EPI found that the difference made within a highly effective academy trust or local authority at primary level equated to over two points on the new national curriculum assessments – more than the progress expected during a full term of pupil progress.

At secondary level, the difference in pupil attainment between the highest and lowest performing groups is equivalent to half a grade in each GCSE subject studied.

Spencer Academies Trust Chief Executive Paul West said: “We are delighted to see the Spencer family of primary schools ranking as the second highest academy trust performer in the country. The Spencer community of staff, parents and pupils work incredibly hard to secure standards and deliver the best opportunities for our children. This recognition by the EPI is a vote of confidence in all involved.”

The EPI is an independent, impartial and evidence-based research institute which promotes high quality education outcomes through data-led analysis and innovative research. Core research areas include schools performance and capacity; vulnerable learners and social mobility, and education funding. The EPI is chaired by the Rt. Hon. David Laws, and led by Executive Director Natalie Perera.