Why many schools have ‘official’ and ‘unofficial’ results…

I find that schools often have two sets of statistics: the official set of statistics that includes the results of all the pupils who will be included in the year’s key stage results, and an unofficial set of statistics that excludes certain pupils that the school feel unfairly skew the results.

This is nothing to do with dubious practices like off-rolling and everything to do with schools wanting to present their best figures to the wider world by removing the statistical influence of pupils who they have had perhaps little control over.

For example, the unofficial list sometimes contains pupils that used to be SEN, but are no longer counted as SEN pupils. It might also contain pupils who joined the school in more than 2 years ago, so are not classified as mobile pupils or as international new arrivals (INAs), but whose progress (or lack) adversely affects the overall key stage results.

With SIMS, it’s easy to flag pupils as being excluded from key stage analysis and then to remove them temporarily from marksheets and analyses to see ‘what if’. In this post, I’ll show you how.

The technique uses a SIMS user defined field to identify the pupils, then adapts Capita’s KS2 analysis reports to allow these pupils to be selected or de-selected from the analyses.

Create the user defined field (UDF)

  • In SIMS, choose the following menu options: Tools | Setup | User Defined Fields
  • Click New to create a new field
  • In the Description box, call it (say) ‘Exclude from Analysis’
  • In the Field Type box, choose True/False
  • In the Data Domain, choose Person and tick Student Details
  • Tick the box that says ‘Apply to Assessment Manager Filter’
  • Save your changes
Creating the user defined field

Enter data

You might need to log out and log back in to SIMS before the new field appears but within a few minutes the new user defined field will be visible in the pupil detail screen as a tick box – look down to section 13 – user defined fields. Enter a tick into this box for every pupil you wish to exclude from the analyses.

How the user defined field looks within the pupil details

Enter a tick directly into the new field, or use the Routines | Pupil | Bulk Update to update lots of pupils very quickly.

Filter marksheets using the new field

Once you have entered your data into the new UDF, the new field can be used to filter marksheets. Open up any marksheet and click the group filter. Your new field will be visible in the user defined fields section. Select the new field to display only these pupils, or use the red ‘exclude’ button to show all pupils except the excluded pupils.

How the UDF appears in the group filter (note the use of the exclude button).

Use the field with the KS2 resources

In a previous post I described how primary schools can use the free KS2 resources to analyse their results. We can amend the reports in these resources to use the new field. Here’s how:

  • Go to Reports | Design Report.
  • The resources provide several reports for EYFS, phonics, KS1 and KS2.
  • For this example, we’ll choose the report called CAS KS2 Key Groups Attn Prog
  • Open the report
  • Click ‘Save As’ to clone the report the report, give a different name
  • Go to the Filter Students section and add a new filter
  • Find the UDF section and your new field will be within it
  • Highlight it and choose ‘false’ for the condition.
  • Tick the option to prompt at run time
Extra filter for your report

And that’s it! Run the report with the ‘false’ option ticked to see the statistics for your school with those pupils removed. Run the original report to see the ‘official’ results, and the amended report to see your (much more flattering!) unofficial results.

If you need help with this, contact your local SIMS support unit. If you want me to help, feel free to contact me.