Progress 8

What is Progress 8?
Progress 8 is a measure of schools’ effectiveness. It measures the distance students have travelled on their learning journey from Year 6 to the end of year 11 by comparing their starting points, which are defined as their KS2 SATS scores, with their final outcomes in GCSE and vocational qualifications at the end of year 11. This measure gauges students’ progress across their 8 best subjects and it will appear in the league tables which are published in January 2017 for the first time.

How does Progress 8 Work?
The basic framework comprises of 3 baskets which make up the 8 subjects in total. Each basket has a list of which subjects are permitted in it. Basket 1 contains the compulsory subjects of English and Maths which carry a double weighting which means they make up 40% of the progress 8 score for a student. Students have to sit both English Language and English Literature GCSE however it is the higher of the English grades which will be used in the calculation alongside maths. In basket 2 students will be able to choose from the Sciences, History and Geography and Languages. Scores from these subjects make up 30% of the progress 8 Score. Basket 3 allows students to opt for a further three subjects which may be GCSEs or other equivalent vocational qualifications. These subjects make up the final 30% of the progress 8 score for a student.

There may be a small minority of students who may benefit from studying fewer than 8 subjects in the hope that they will achieve higher grades by concentrating on fewer subjects.

Progress 8 diagram

Why has this measure been introduced?
It is a much fairer measure of the effectiveness of a school because schools who have a low ability cohort will be measured on how much these students have improved rather than just their attainment or final grade at the end of year 11. The government talks about coasting schools these are schools that do not make enough progress with their students. Some schools have high attainment but have high ability cohorts of students and they make less progress than other schools whose attainment is lower.

What does the Progress Score mean?
If a school achieves a Progress score of + 0.5 it means than on average every student makes half or 0.5 of a grade more progress in every one of their subjects than students across the country that have the same ability. This score is very challenging for schools to achieve therefore Ofsted have decided that if a school achieves this score they will not be inspected in the normal inspection cycle because their progress will be deemed as outstanding. Conversely, if a school achieves a progress 8 score of -0.5 it means that every student makes half a grade less progress in every one of their subjects than others student with similar ability across the country. Ofsted have said they will intervene at this point as there would be serious concerns about progress.