Exams

EBacc: DfE plans league table shake-up to ‘incentivise’ take-up

Government to 'explore making changes to the headline EBacc attainment measure'

Government to 'explore making changes to the headline EBacc attainment measure'

league tables attendance

The government plans to shake up its EBacc secondary school attainment measure to “incentivise” entry to the full suite of subjects.

In a guidance update issued tonight, the Department for Education said it would “explore making changes to the headline EBacc attainment measure” – which is an “average point score” for EBacc subjects.

The measure gives schools a score across the five pillars of the EBacc, which are English, maths, science, a language and history or geography.

But the DfE said it wanted to “move to a headline EBacc attainment measure that incentivises full EBacc”.

“We plan to engage with the sector on this during the autumn, with a view to confirming the approach in early 2024. The change would be introduced for 2024/25 measures, to be published in autumn 2025.”

No further details have been provided.

The government wants 90 per cent of year 10 pupils entering the English baccalaureate (EBacc) by 2025. Last year just 38.7 per cent did so.

Language entries becomes ‘headline measure’

The DfE also said it planned to change key stage 4 performance measures for the current academic year to make entries to triple science and languages “headline measures”.

They are currently “additional measures”, but would be displayed on schools’ main pages in performance tables from next autumn.

But the document does not confirm how the government plans to calculate progress 8 scores for schools in 2024-25 and 2025-26.

Because the year 11 cohorts in those years did not sit SATs in year 6 because of Covid, there is no baseline on which to calculate progress.

The DfE said it would “explore whether there are any alternative options for producing a progress measure in the affected years, and will announce our approach nearer the time”.

Today’s guidance is an “intermediary update” setting out plans for this academic year. The DfE is still yet to fully update its guidance about performance measures for last academic year. It will do so when provisional data is released in October.

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