What exactly are we tracking?



Almost every state school in England tracks the progress of their pupils by using spreadsheets to analyse a number or grade teachers input into a software program at regular intervals.

In some this happens once a term, and every half term is even more common.

The purpose is clear; schools are responsible for the progress of their pupils and accountable for their results. In order to know whether pupils are ‘on track’ often to meet a target grade, about which my opinions are well known, then there has to be a way of knowing whether or not each child will eventually succeed. Data led inspection regimes have led to a perceived need that school leaders must know the grades their pupils will achieve at all times.

An entire industry has grown up to meet this need. While there are subtle variations between how each works whatever the system the…

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