GL Assessment and Fischer Family Trust (FFT) are to offer all secondary schools an enhanced assessment tool that will use CAT4 test data within FFT’s Aspire analysis to help indicate a student’s future estimates for GCSE. The roll-out follows requests from schools for such a service as well as a successful initial roll-out in autumn 2020 among Year 7 students, who began their secondary school life without any Key Stage 2 data following the cancellation of KS2 SATs. Over the course of next academic year, FFT will be extending this service from Year 8 through to Year 11.
One of the schools who trialled the service earlier this year was Ark Alexandra, a co-educational school in Hastings. The school’s Data Manager, Sandra Brasier, explained: “We chose to carry out CAT4 with our new Year 7 students at the start of the academic year in the absence of KS2 SATs results. We then uploaded their results into FFT so that we could calculate their base grades, allowing us the opportunity to track their academic progress throughout the year. This was a very simple task and has benefitted our data massively after the gaps caused from the pandemic. This has also allowed us to evenly distribute classes with mixed attainment.”
Crispin Chatterton, Director of Education at GL Assessment, said: “Schools know that the pandemic has created all sorts of transition challenges that are extending long after Year 7, so we are really excited to take the next step in our partnership with FFT by offering this tool across all Key Stage 3 year groups. It’s a real validation of the strength of our standardised assessment data.”
In line with the release of its Secondary Aspire Pupil Tracking next academic year, FFT will also be incorporating GL Assessment’s Progress Test Series in English and maths which will support schools to track against estimates. Further information will follow later in the year.
GL Assessment and FFT are continuing to collaborate on their Value Added Service. This uses CAT4, GCSE and IB results and helps schools to evidence the difference between the grades a student is indicated to gain on joining a school against the grades that they ultimately achieve. This measurement is crucial to many parents who are looking for other indicators of a school’s performance above and beyond their position in an exam results or destination league table.
Paul Charman, Managing Director at FFT, added:
“The collaboration between GL Assessment and FFT has helped 1,500 secondary schools to use their CAT4 assessment data within FFT Aspire to support the transition into Year 7 and provide FFT benchmark estimates of future GCSE performance. Schools are using these FFT GCSE predictions to monitor progress and plan interventions. We are delighted to be expanding this service over the next academic year to include all secondary school pupils from Year 7 to Year 11.”