Alps KS5 Updates 2017 – England Alps briefing papers - view all

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Government policies in education over the past few years have both radically changed the landscape with schools, new academies and ‘free’ schools now co-existing and introduced new accountability measurements. The new assessment models at KS2 and KS4 introduce new points systems, in addition to the linearisation of A levels at KS5.

Below is a summary of the main changes to Alps KS5 reports for 2017, in light of these changes

1. Benchmarks

  • A level and AS level – We are creating new benchmarks for the 2017 reports, using the full national dataset from the DfE.
  • BTEC – We re-benchmarked the BTEC report in 2016, and will be keeping these benchmarks for 2017.

2. Modelled Minimum Expected Grades (MEGs) for 2017 Starters – Impact of new gradings 9 – 1 at GCSE

For A level, AS level and BTEC we will be creating additional benchmark tables, modelled on Transitional Points (see table A below for the new Transitional Points at GCSE). Schools and colleges should use the ‘Modelled Transitional Points’ MEGs for their new Y12 students.

Please note:

The ‘Modelled Transitional Points’ MEGs will be a best estimate based on the information that we have at the time. We will be re-analysing the data every year, and will be publishing updated tables.

Why are we using the Transitional Points?

During these next 2 years of transition, we thought it would be fairer to staff if the analysis that we provided was consistent with the Government points scheme. This decision was not taken lightly. We share reservations about the unequal distribution of points between grades A* to G.

The Modelled MEGs are only applicable to those students starting in 2017. The usual GCSE score methodology and Alps MEGs are applicable to students who sat their GCSEs prior to 2017.

3. Target setting and analysis of new 2016 BTEC suite

The situation in 2018 will be complicated because the new BTEC Suite of L3 qualifications will be awarded alongside the current Suite. Whilst we anticipate similar standards will be applied, we aim to produce new benchmarks for the new Suites and will be analysing the results to check comparability in Autumn 2017.

We recommend that you still use the current MEGs for students starting in 2017. Until we have analysed the data, we would not suggest lowering MEGs for these students. As soon as we do analyse the 2017 data we will issue further guidance on this.

4. UCAS Points

Although UCAS points have changed, we will continue to use the ‘old UCAS’ scale in our reports for this year as this is still familiar with staff. We will re-visit this decision next year.

5. Calculating your average GCSE score for the 2017 report

This remains the same as last year for the analysis in your 2017 reports and for MEGs for students completing their GCSEs prior to Summer 2017.

For 2017 starters of level 3 courses, we will provide a modelled table for MEGs based on our analysis using Transitional Points to calculate the average GCSE score.

The impact of 9-1 and A* to G Transitional Points will not affect Alps A level and BTEC reports until 2019.

The Alps Data Collection Software (ADCS) will use the appropriate points and methodology when importing data from SIMS/Facility for calculating the average GCSE score for both end of year reports and for target setting and monitoring.

6. Alps Connect Launching Autumn 2017 – KS4 and KS5

We are launching a new Alps service in Autumn 2017 called Alps Connect, an interactive web-based platform which will allow you to interact with both your exam results data and monitoring data.

It will allow you and all staff to:

  • Analyse your data by gender, ethnicity, teaching set, tutor groups and other custom fields
  • Carry out in-depth departmental analysis – including interactive ‘what if’ functionality – to model how many grades would have been needed to move into the Black or into the Red
  • Identify the areas of both celebration and concern or intervention; by
    • Student
    • Subject
    • Teaching Set
    • Gender, ethnicity, SEN or other custom field
  • Create bespoke reports e.g. for governors

Through all the current transitional changes, our overarching aim is to give the tools to schools and colleges for timely and reliable analysis, to ensure that students remain the focus during the phased introduction of the Government reforms.

We are at the end of the telephone Monday to Friday 9am-5pm – please contact us for more information