Attainment 8: Calculating the New Measure

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30 Responses

  1. Kim Edwards says:

    Very useful and easy instructions.

  2. C Thomas says:

    English can only be double weighted if both English Language and English Literature GCSEs have been taken. If a pupil takes English Language only then it will be single weighted in the English and maths section.

    • David Pott says:

      Yes – agreed. At this stage many schools are only offering the two subjects together. I haven’t tried it yet buy you could use an IF-THEN-ELSE formula to double the highest English score only if the the lowest English score was less than zero (i.e. didn’t exist). You’d then have to adjust the overall value to divide by (currently 10 but would be 9 if English isn’t doubled?).

  3. Richie says:

    I’ve not given this a go yet but I know it’s going to be really useful! Been scratching my head over this for a while.

    I’ve only recently (in the past year) started the role as a Data Manager and I would just like to say that your website has been invaluable to me.


  4. Gary Skelton says:

    Hi David,

    I was under the impression that the ‘extra’ English result (Max English 2) goes in the Other box and not the EBACC box?



  5. James says:

    Insert a grade tally column after Max Eng 1 and Max Eng 2. Multiply the Max Eng 1 by the grade tally column instead of simply by 2. Therefore if only one english course taken then times by 1, but if 2 entered then times by 2. Problem solved of double weighting for english.

  6. Ian Belcher says:

    Hi David. The attainment 8 value needs to be calculated on a 1-8 scale not the current 16-58 scale. This is because the gap between a U (or an empty slot) and a G is 1 grade. The current system it works out as over 2 grades. It’s easy to convert:
    After the sum of all the grades you need to subtract 10 points for each grade above a U (doubling up for English and maths where applicable), and divide the new total by 60.
    I’ll leave you to expertly write that into SIMS.

    • David Pott says:

      That’s a good point (and I will post more later!). For now, especially for schools that are analysing expected or target KS4 grades, the difference between a U grade and a G grade isn’t vital (not many schools set a U grade target!). For schools analysing current ‘working at’ grades this might be more of an issue.

  7. Gill Twells says:

    Just working through constructing a marksheet following your instructions. Looking at the DfE Progress 8 Technical guide it looks like GCSE Core Science is included in the EBacc qualifications. Is this correct?

  8. Mark says:

    Hi David
    Great article, for the e Bacc calculation, you use 6 MAX calculations yet have more than 6 subjects, some of our students follow, 3 sciences, 2 languages, both history and geography, should I use 7 MAX calculations and if a student only follows 6 would MAX7 just show as zero?

    • David Pott says:

      Just thinking off the top of my head here but there are 3 slots for Ebacc subjects and three slots for ‘other’ subjects. The ‘other’ subjects slots could be filled by the 3 lowest Ebacc subjects 4 to 6. But there are no more slots to fill at this point so I can’t see the seventh Ebacc subject ever qualifying. But i could be wrong!

  9. Emma Maltby says:

    Hi David. This looks great but having built it I am struggling with the ‘Other’ part. At my school out of 10 Ebacc subjects, students study anywhere from 3-7 . I have found an issue with the ‘Other 3’ because it is using subjects already included in the Ebacc 1 – 3 part and subjects should only be counted once in P8. Any ideas anyone please?

    • David Pott says:

      Hi Emma, I wonder if you’re including some of the same aspects in Max EBacc 1-6 as in Max Other 1 – 3? That’s the only scenario where I can imagine the same subject being counted twice. The Max Other 1-3 columns should only include the Max Ebacc 4-6 columns and the remaining non-Ebacc subjects.

  10. Trudy Day says:

    Hello. I’ve attempted to replicate an excel spreadsheet in a SIMs template (thanks for the tips, David) to measure the sum of Attainment 8 Targets (Tgts) and Expected Grades (EXGs) to get a difference value. Our EXGs are whole grades (A*=10, A=9 etc) and our Tgts are Sub-grades (A*1=10.7, A*2=10.3, A*3=10, A1=9.7, A2=10.3, A3=9 etc). For next year, we are going to convert to grade sets where A*1=8.something and A*=8 etc. The problem is that, either way, the sub-grade Trgt values total (currently up to 107) cannot be compared to the EXG values total (currently up to 100). The difference between Full marks Tgts and Full marks EXGs needs to be zero. We used percentages but these did not give exact results (compared to the excel spreadsheet). PS : We need to have our Targets, termly Interim Targets and termly Cumulative working at Grades as sub-grades with different values so that our NESTED/IF/THEN/ELSE ‘alerts’ work. Can you say if there is a way to ‘round down to integer’ in SIMS Assessment?

    Also, to change to the new grade values, we will be cloning and changing Aspects in our existing Year 10 and 11 Templates so the Aspect substituting functionality will be very welcome. Are you able to confirm if we’ll be able to substitute aspects which are used in formulas?

    A colleague spotted your blog yesterday and spread the word. It’s already proved very helpful. Thanking you in advance for any tips you may have.

    • David Pott says:

      Hi Trudy, I’m working on a post that shows how to use LOOKUP formulas to convert from the old GCSE grades to the new GCSE points. I think (if I understand your post correctly) that it will help. Hope to publish it sometime in the next couple of weeks. As for rounding down – have you tried using a MARKS TO GRADE formula on a grade set? If you use a MARKS TO GRADE formula on (say) a standard GCSE gradeset (where C=40 points) if you input a value of 42 points, it will automatically ’round down’ and output a C grade. You might be able to use this approach?

  11. Tracey says:

    Very easy to follw. How have you accounted for discounted subjects??

    • David Pott says:

      Hi Tracey, There’s no provision for discounted subjects. I’ve looked at discounting before and concluded that the rules are too complex to include in a marksheet like this. You can always delete discounted grades manually. Not ideal though. Maybe some readers of this blog can suggest a way?

  12. Rich Horswell says:

    Your posts are incredibly useful, thank you, David. About your double counting for the English, I see that you have said to double count the best, Lang or Lit, as long as there is an A*-G grade in both. I think I’ve actually uncovered that as long as they get a U, then the best grade will count double. Small thing but quite an interesting point which could be used tactically by some, possibly not for the benefit of students.

  13. Jackie says:

    Thanks, very useful.

  14. Jackie says:

    What about Science?

    I assume that if they only take 1 Science that this cannot be added to the Ebacc tally?

    • David Pott says:

      One of the good things about Progress 8 is that (almost) everything counts. So even if they are doing a single science GCSE I would say it still counts in the eBacc ‘bucket’. Does anyone else reading this blog know any different?

  15. Mike says:

    I could be wrong but I think there is a limit of 4 sciences so if a student did Physics/Chemistry/Biology/Computer Science then the 4th grade could not be used in group 3 even if it was the high enough.

  16. Great guide thanks David. I recommend editing the column headings of the Ebacc subjects to start ‘Eb’ and of the Open subjects and 4th, 5th and 6th EBacs to start ‘Op’. That way when you put in the Max formulas all the columns you want to select are listed together.

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