At UTC Leeds, students join us at the start of Y10, having completed KS3 at a wide range of other schools across the Yorkshire region.
As a result, it has now been recognised by the Department for Education that Progress 8 is not an appropriate measure for UTCs. We assess the progress of our students through independent and nationally recognised baseline testing, prior to the start of Y10.
Students who joined Y10 in September 2016 were tested in this way and were projected to achieve an average GCSE point score of 3.51 in summer 2018, which is well below the national average of 4.50. This was compared to the projected GCSE point score of the same students on leaving KS2. At that point, the projected average GCSE points score for the students was 4.64, which is above the national average. Therefore, in the period between leaving KS2 and starting UTC in Y10 there was a drop in projected GCSE point scores. This suggests that, on average, these students had not made progress at KS3 at their previous schools and started at UTC Leeds well below where they should have been. The average GCSE point score for those same students at the end of Y11 was 3.55 showing that students made positive progress in line with national average from their starting points when they joined UTC Leeds.
Additional measures of school performance, include Attainment 8 and the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). The Attainment 8 score for the Y11 students was 3.1. The English Baccalaureate is a set of core GCSE subjects, which includes qualifications in English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Modern Foreign Languages. Students at UTC Leeds follow a specialised curriculum designed to prepare them effectively for their future career choices in the fields of Science and Engineering. Therefore the English Baccalaureate measure is not applicable to UTCs.
The Department for Education has acknowledged that Progress 8 data from UTCs is not directly comparable with other schools, in new guidance contained within the league tables. It states:
Schools and colleges not covering full Progress 8 period:
Some schools and colleges, including university technical colleges, studio schools and further education colleges which cover key stage 4, start educating pupils from the beginning of key stage 4, partway through the 5-year period covered by Progress 8. This should be taken into account when comparing their results with those for schools which start educating their pupils from the beginning of key stage 3.
For more information on that, please click here and then on the question mark symbol above the Progress 8 column. Please then scroll down the DfE pop up.