15th March 2017
Alps in Wales 2016/17
Over the past year there has been a significant increase in the number of schools and colleges using Alps at KS5 in Wales.
We are delighted to be working with 18 out of the 22 LAs this academic year and equally delighted to confirm that, in 2017-18, we will be working with every Welsh LA with sixth form provision via LA and Consortia projects.
It has been an amazing year for us. Since August we have delivered over 480 reports to more than 140 schools and colleges in Wales. We have also delivered within schools over 100 Strategic Review feedback training sessions and 35 Strategic Priority training sessions. The aim is always to support our colleagues to make the most of the Alps report analysis and develop practical strategies for improvement.
We have also provided strategic KS5 analysis across two Consortia, CSC and ERW, to enable the spread of KS5 curriculum excellence.
Below is a summary of the steps we are taking to ensure our reports and training continue to be relevant for schools and colleges in Wales during the next exciting academic year ahead.
1. Benchmarks and target setting 2017
The Alps benchmarks and therefore Minimum Expected Grades (MEGs) for KS5 will remain unchanged for 2017, allowing you to analyse relative performance trends over time. All the information on the Alps benchmarks and Alps MEGs are in Section A of your report.
2. Target setting and analysis of new 2016 BTEC Suite
If you are offering the 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. Whist we anticipate similar standards will be applied, we aim to produce new benchmarks for the new Suite and will be analysing the results to check comparability in Autumn 2017, as the data becomes available.
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 have analysed the 2017 data we will issue further guidance on this.
3. Welsh Baccalaureate – new grading system
The results for the Welsh Bacc. in 2017 will follow the new grading system of A*-E. We will not include an Alps subject grade in the first draft reports for 2017, as it would be unfair to evaluate A*-E grades against a subject benchmark created from A*-C grades, but as soon as we have sufficient data to create a benchmark in the Autumn term, we will re-issue each provider report with your benchmarked Welsh Bacc. subject page.
4. Alps at KS4 for Wales – update
Our English Key Stage 4 report uses each student’s KS2 Fine Grade as an input score. As there is a difference in how this data is recorded in Wales we are developing an amended approach for Welsh schools.
We are currently working with regional consortia and schools to develop an Alps methodology to enable us to offer Alps at KS4 for Welsh schools. We will keep you updated on the progress of this, but aim to be able to offer the KS4 report in the Autumn of 2017.
5. Alps Connect Launching Autumn 2017
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:
We are at the end of the telephone Monday to Friday 9am-5pm – please contact us for more information