Introduction to Alps for Data Managers

Introduction to Alps for Data Managers

This article is designed for Data Managers or those responsible for submitting data to Alps and will give you a brief overview of Alps, the analysis we provide, why we need certain data and how we use the information you submit.

Alps methodology and analysis

Each year, Alps receives the national DfE dataset and ranks providers based on the progress their students make from their prior attainment score. Alps is a value-add system, and we are interested in the value the schools/colleges add to the learning and attainment of their students.

We create an overall ranking based on Exam Type, e.g. for all A levels, and we create individual subject benchmarks, e.g. including all schools/college who provide A level Biology.

We use our overall ranking of student progress to give students’ Minimum Expected Grades (MEGs). MEGs are generated using the 75th percentile of achievement for students in the same prior attainment band, based on the national data for each exam type. These MEGs are based on exam type and are non-subject specific as Alps believes that our MEGs are a starting point; teachers may wish to raise the MEG where a student has a particular flair for their subject.

We set MEGs at the 75th percentile, making them aspirational but achievable – we challenge teachers and students to match the progress of the top 25%, nationally.

For each of your subjects, we calculate an Alps Score. The Alps Score is based on how the students are achieving in comparison to their MEGs – if all students achieve their MEGs, the Alps Score will be 1.

An Alps Grade is then given for each subject, which puts the score into the context of the individual thermometers based on the ranked national DfE data for that subject. An Alps Score of 1 can sit in very different places on different subject thermometers. This is because students nationally make better progress in some subjects than in others.

We provide value-add analysis at an overall strategic, subject and individual student level, allowing specific intervention areas to be identified and push students to achieve their maximum potential.

If you wish to learn more about the Alps methodology or any specific measures, our Alps Guide provides explanations and our benchmarks. The Alps Guide is available for download from the Resources section of the Connect Homepage.


The data you submit

The Prior Attainment score is crucial to your Alps analysis – without a prior attainment score we cannot calculate any Alps measures. We will still include students without prior attainment scores on subject pages of our analysis however, and we understand that not all students will have prior attainment scores – international students, for example. We recommend that you add a prior attainment score – KS2, WNT or Average GCSE Score – for as many students as possible.

We also recommend that you import your teaching sets as this data will generate your MEG report for your students and it will allow you to get the best out of your analysis. 


Ethnicity, disadvantage and gender information can be added for your students at the data upload stage. To get the most from KS4 reports, please include this data for KS4 submissions as it will be used in the ‘Gap Dashboard’ of your analysis. Whether you need to add this data for KS5 will depend on whether you wish to order filter reports or Connect Interactive. 


In all sections of Connect, ethnicity, disadvantage and gender appear as filter options, allowing your colleagues to more accurately identify students in need of intervention, so you should upload this information in your data submission if you are purchasing Connect Interactive. Custom columns containing your own categories of data – SEND status or internal/external students for example – can also be added for your colleagues to use as filter options in Connect Interactive.

We also recommend including your Teaching Sets. Analysis can be viewed by individual teaching set, which is particularly powerful for teachers.

Click here to see our short videos on the features of Connect Interactive.


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