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Assessment - Comparisons

Using the Data

Comparing available data is key evidence of the excellent achievement of pupils, celebrate staff hard work and is highly valued by parents selecting their child’s schools. This published data is downloadable from: and is free and available to all. The data contained here is the full-data set from all schools in the country. It is possible to filter this data further to undertake direct comparisons with certain schools, and with certain categories of schools.

All the following data in this document is from the qualifications taken by Year 11 pupils in Summer 2023. These qualifications were the second since the pandemic to be externally assessed under pre-pandemic practices, albeit with some minor support measures in place. Due to Covid-19, there has also not been data of this type available to schools in 2020, 2021 or 2022. This has led to gaps in year-on-year comparisons and has made it more challenging recently to know how well schools are doing compared to other similar schools.

The Department for Education stated the following in 2022/23:

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Woodlane is not ignoring this advice by producing this report, but is doing so as a way to celebrate and showcase the progress made in the school’s recovery from Covid-19.


Similar Schools

There are several reasons why SEND schools do not always find school’s published data useful, including the challenges of comparing an SEND cohort with mainstream peers. However, Woodlane is often seen to bridge the gap between mainstream and SEND, offering a high number of GCSE and equivalent level qualifications in a supportive and nurturing environment. Therefore these comparisons have worth to the school when they are conducted with care using similar schools and are transparent in both the successes and areas for improvement.

The most realistic comparison is with schools with an identical setup. Woodlane is a local authority maintained SEND school, (described as Community SEND Schools in this comparison) so schools that are within this category and who cater for the same age ranges as Woodlane are used below. This leaves a comparison with 360 schools in the UK. This number fell from 362 the previous year, and pre-pandemic (2018/19), there were 421 schools in this category. The data below shows how the number of Community SEND schools has continued to fall year on year. This is an impact of a range of factors, including academisation and greater inclusion in mainstream secondaries.


Published Scores

Woodlane’s published scores for 2022/23 are as follows:

Progress 8: -0.91 (improved from -1.35 in 2021/22)

Attainment 8: 9.2 (decreased from 13.1 in 2021/22)

These published score for Progress 8 shows significant progress from last year and represents the best yearly score the school has achieved. The school continues to push for outstanding achievement, despite the known challenges of the last few years. Although the Attainment 8 score fell year on year, it remains higher/similar to the 3 scores that immediately preceded the pandemic. Qualification options are wide, pupil engagement is high, and the curriculum is robust, offering depth and adding value. Although there is some fluctuation in the data above, commonly seen due to the small cohort sizes and differing needs, there is a significant improvement on the pre-pandemic data.

The following table demonstrates the Progress 8 and Attainment 8 scores over time.


Progress 8

Progress 8 is a score that shows how much progress pupils have made between the end of key stage 2 and the end of key stage 4. These pupils are compared with their peers across England who achieved similar results at the end of that key stage.

The Progress 8 score is determined by how well pupils perform in up to 8 qualifications, which include; English, Maths, 3 English Baccalaureate qualifications including Science, Computer Science, History, Geography and Languages, as well as 3 other approved qualifications. Not all qualifications offered at Woodlane are approved under the Progress 8 Performance Tables. This score is more significant as a measure for mainstream provisions. However, if used with caution it can be useful for SEND too.

If the school uses the Progress 8 score and ranks Community SEND schools across the whole of the UK, Woodlane is the 11th highest performing school of its type. This places the school well within the top 5% nationally.

When comparing Progress 8 scores across the national picture over the past 6 years of available data, Woodlane is almost always within the top 5% nationally, usually comfortably so.


Attainment 8

Similar to Progress 8 (above), the Attainment 8 score is determined by how well pupils perform in up to 8 qualifications, although it does not take in to account the pupil’s start point (KS2) and their value-added progress. This score can be used as an indicator of the range of qualifications on offer, the recognition given to these qualifications and pupil’s success when completing them.

Using Woodlane’s Attainment 8 score of 9.1, the school is ranked 25th nationally, just outside the top 5%.

Exploring these scores over time, it has not always been possible for the school to break the top 5% although did so last year. When not making the top 5% of schools, in 2018/19 this was by 1 place, and in 2017/18 it was only by 3 places showing that the school has never been far outside of the top 5% of schools. The school’s methodology for selecting qualifications for pupils is always with the pupil’s needs as the primary factor. This may mean that Functional Skills, or Entry Level qualifications may be the better fit for a certain pupil/class/cohort, and these may not be reflected within the Attainment 8 score.



Due to the way progress tables are calculated, they do not account for the breadth and depth of qualifications on offer at Woodlane. The school offers Entry Level, Functional Skills courses and Unit Award Schemes, outside of the GCSE and BTEC programmes. 


Download the attached document for further information and analysis.

If you are a school who wishes to conduct some comparisons of internal or external data, please get in touch through the school email address or telephone number.

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