KS4 England - Which benchmark should I use? August 2023

KS4 England - Which benchmark should I use? August 2023

Your value-added analysis in Connect is currently based on the national dataset released by the DfE in 2019. Since the pandemic, we have continued to use this 2019 benchmark to provide a consistent baseline to support you in making judgements on your school/college improvement priorities.

The outcomes from the 2023 examination series present some challenges for colleagues at Key Stage 4, although with standards returning to almost 2019 levels, there is more consistency in the value-added analysis than at KS5. 

However, we recognise that the scaled score prior attainment baseline in 2023 differed from the fine grades in 2019.

Client benchmarks
To respond to the 2023 context, we have used the data submitted to Alps for Year 11 in 2023 to generate an Alps ‘client’ benchmark. We offer you the opportunity to switch your benchmark from 2019 to the 2023 Alps ‘client’ benchmark.

An overview of our client benchmark findings can be found here: https://support.alps.education/portal/en/kb/articles/alps-analysis-of-2023-client-benchmarks-gcse-england-a

Important points for your awareness:
Switching to the 'Alps School benchmark' for Key Stage 4 will present the following analysis: 
  • For monitoring gradepoints across 2021/22, including the examination gradepoint for 2022, the benchmark used is the DfE 2022 national benchmark. This is identical to the default benchmark in Connect and therefore you will see no change to your analysis for these gradepoints.
  • For monitoring gradepoints and examination gradepoint for 2023, you will see analysis against the 2023 client benchmark. This has been applied to your 2023 gradepoints across both Year 10 and 11. 
  • No analysis will show for monitoring point from 2023/24 onwards. This is because we have generated a new banding structure for these new cohorts. See article: https://support.alps.education/portal/en/kb/articles/new-bands-and-megs-setting-high-expectations-at-ks4-with-alps-england-only


Which benchmark should I use to view my analysis:

Decisions on datasets to use to give the most valid value-added analysis over the past few years has been complex.
Given that we have adopted a new banding structure for your incoming Year 11 cohort, we consider the 2019 national benchmark to be the most appropriate for monitoring for Key Stage 4 cohorts from September 2023. 

We expect to receive the 2023 national data from the DfE late in Spring Term 2024. The benchmark will be generated and will be applied retrospectively to the 2023 examination gradepoint. 
It will also be used to generate a new national benchmark for the current Year 11 and 10 students, and will replace the 2019 national benchmark in Connect and Summit.