The national SATs results 2019 are in, and here’s everything you need to know about what they mean for your school, what to do next, and how to explain and discuss them with teachers, parents and children. We’ve worked with our maths consultant and Third Space author, Tim Handley on this comprehensive analysis of the 2019 maths SATs.
We will be focusing on the impact that the impact that the Maths Arithmetic and Reasoning papers have on the KS2 SATS results in 2019 what it means for 2020 SATs preparation.
So, the 2019 KS2 SATs results are now out, and according to the official data attainment in maths and writing has increased, whereas in reading attainment has decreased.
The DfE are publicly stating that the increase, by 1%, in the percentage of children meeting the expected standard in Reading, Writing and Maths (the combined measure), shows that standards are rising, and the majority of pupils are ‘secondary ready’.
SLT Breakdown: The Key Takeaways From The Maths SATs Results 2019
Download the key findings from our breakdown of the 2019 SATs papers, condensed to bullet form. Perfect for SLT and governor meeting!
The KS2 SATS Results 2019: The Headlines
In case you need it, here is a reminder of the headline national statistics for the 2019 National Curriculum Assessments.
- 65%of pupils met the expected standard in reading, writing and maths combined – an increase of 1 percentage point from 2018, and an increase of 4 percentage points since 2017.
- 73%of pupils achieved the expected standard in reading – a decrease of 2 percentage points since 2018, but still 2% higher than in 2017.
- 78%of pupils achieved the expected standard in writing, which is teacher assessed – which is the same proportion as in 2017.
- 79%of pupils achieved the expected standard in mathematics – an increase of 3 percentage points from 2018 and 4 percentage points from 2017.
- 78% of pupils achieved the expected standard in Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS), which was the same as 2018. Remember however that GPS results do not count towards the school accountability measures.
Scaled Score Conversion Tables For The KS2 SATs Results
The conversion tables convert a pupils raw score in each of their SATs papers to the infamous scaled score. This year’s tables were released alongside the 2019 KS2 SATS results.
From these tables, we can see that the raw score needed to gain a scaled score of 100 (i.e the expected standard) for Maths in 2019 is 58.
This is a decrease of 3 raw score marks compared to 2018, where the raw score needed was 61, and 1 mark from 2017.
This means that children only need a percentage score of 51.2% across all three papers to be judged at working at the expected standard in Maths at KS2.
This compares to children needing to gain 56% in reading and 54% in GPS in order to meet the expected standard.
Interestingly, the scaled score needed for greater depth has only decreased by 1 mark compared to 2018. We’ll unpick more what this may indicate about the 2019 maths later on in this post.
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The Trends We Can Identify From The KS2 SATS Results Data In 2019
We are now in the fourth year of the ‘new style’ KS2 national assessments, so it’s certainly possible to begin to look at what trends are emerging.
The raw score required to get 100 is the second lowest it has been since the start of the new style assessments.
Most Year 6 teachers will be relieved to hear that this certainly implies that across the country children generally found the KS2 maths SATs this year significantly harder than last years (which, were seen by many as generally quite fair).
The percentage of pupils gaining the expected standard in Maths has increased.
This is interesting given the change in scaled scores, and could be seen to imply that the DfE, as part of its standardisation process (where the raw scores to scaled score conversion tables are set) has tried to ensure a higher percentage of pupils achieving the expected standard in maths.
This could be because the increase in the proportion of children gaining the expected standard was less marked in 2017 and 2018 than it was in other subjects.
The raw score required to reach greater depth in maths paints an interesting picture.
The raw score required to reach a scaled score of 110 only decreased by 1.
When we look at the raw score required to gain the scaled scores between 101 and 110, we see that, with only a couple of exceptions, the score required to gain each scaled score is between 2 and 3 raw score marks lower than 2018.
This indicates that this paper strongly favoured children who were working at greater depth within the expected standard, and (based on the 2018 progress measures at least) who gained a level 3 in all subjects at KS1.
The number of children gaining the combined expected standard increased by 1%.
However, this still remains 8% lower than the proportion of children gaining the expected standard in the individual subjects.
This indicates that schools may still benefit from ensuring they really focus on children who are on track to gain the expected standard in two subjects but not the third (i.e. a child who is on track to gain expected standard in reading and writing but not maths).
54.1% of content was from outside the Y6 programme of study.
Therefore, once again, the scaled scores confirm that it is technically possible to gain the expected standard without knowledge of the Year 6 curriculum.
Of course, the national data released is very broad at this stage. More detailed breakdowns will be released on the 5th September, which is also when schools will get their first view of their official progress measures from their 2019 KS2 SATs results (more on this below).
The SATS Arithmetic Test Remains Key To Great KS2 SATs Results
The arithmetic test is now in its fourth year, and many schools are starting to realise how key this is to the overall success in the KS2 maths SATs. This is especially the case this year, with the raw score needed to gain 100 being reduced.
This year, only 58 marks were required to gain the expected standard.
If pupils gained 30 out of the 40 marks on the arithmetic paper (which is easily achievable by most if they have practised developed true fluency), this means they only need to gain 28 marks combined on the reasoning papers, meaning that they, astonishingly, only need to get 40% of the reasoning papers correct.
If you work hard to keep children’s knowledge, skills and fluency in arithmetic current throughout Key Stage 2 it will become second nature, almost automatic by Year 6 and this gives them a huge advantage.
KS2 SATs Results 2019: The Next Steps For Your School
Before you start comparing your 2019 SATs results to national data, go through these steps to make sure the data you are comparing is accurate:
Small schools – check if the school level results will be published
If you have less than 11 pupils who took the KS2 assessments, then the school level data will not be published publicly, and won’t form part of any decisions for any intervention or coasting school definition.
Add on any special consideration uplift that you were granted
If you applied for special consideration at the end of SATs week for any of your pupils, and were successful, it’s important to note that the scores reported on NCA tools do not take this into account.
Any children whose special consideration application was granted need 3 added to their scaled score.
Consider if any of your pupils can be discounted
Each year, nationally just under half the children who are eligible to be discounted are not. So it’s important to consider if any of your year 6 children are eligible to be disapplied.
Children who are discounted do not count towards your school level results.
Children can be discounted when all of the following apply:
- They were admitted to an English school for the first time on or after 1st September 2016.
- They arrived from overseas before their admission (if a pupil has transferred schools inside the UK, but arrived into the UK for the first time after the 1st September 2016, they still meet this criteria).
- English is not an official language of the country from which they came from before entering the UK and being admitted to an English school for the first time (it’s important to check the official language of the country- in the case of many countries, local languages, rather than English will be used by children, but English may still be an official language of the country).
If they can be discounted, then you don’t need to count these children when calculating any percentages or data. But you must apply for children to be discounted – this can be done by your Headteacher through NCA Tools.
These children WILL appear in the unvalidated data released onto Analysing School Performance in September, but will be removed when the validated (and all important) data is released in December.
Look closely to see if you need to submit any marking reviews
It’s only natural that during the massive task of marking hundreds of thousands of test scripts, some mistakes will happen.
To help address this, schools can apply for pupils’ scripts for a particular subject to be reviewed and marked again, if they feel there is an error in the marking that will impact the pupils scaled score.
It’s certainly worthwhile looking in detail at the scripts (which can be downloaded from NCA tools) of any pupil who has a scaled score of 99.
Go through their papers against the published mark scheme, making sure you agree with the marking decisions.
Especially make sure that all of the page has been taken into account, including workings that are outside the answer area, as this is the most common reason for marking mistakes.
Don’t forget: SATs papers marking errors can go either way!
You should also note any marking errors that go in your favour (these do happen!). These need to be a part of your decision-making process for whether to submit a pupil’s paper for review.
If you feel you have found mistakes that would make a difference to a pupil’s scaled score you should know that if you submit it, all 3 papers will be remarked, and this can, in rare cases, lead to the marks going down! Being aware of the points you may lose as well as win is key here!
There is also a cost associated with the review if there has been no change to the marking decisions.
Results for any remarks will be published at the start of September.
Make sure you know how you compare to the national data
It almost goes without saying that you then need to look at how your school level percentages for the combined reading/writing/maths expected standard, alongside the expected standard levels for each individual subject, compare to the national figures.
Remember to take into account any special consideration and children who will be dis-applied into account when calculating your percentages.
Also, remember there is not any national data for greater depth at this stage (this will be published in September).
Of course, whilst it is important to see how you compare nationally, remember the smaller your cohort, the less statistically relevant the national data is.
Predicting Progress Scores From Your KS2 SATS Results 2019
After you’ve looked at attainment, you may want to begin to attempt to predict what your school level progress scores will be.
School progress scores are calculated based on an average of each pupil’s progress scores, but the progress score measure is only statistically reliable as a school average, so individual scores should not be reported to parents.
A brief reminder about the methodology for calculating progress scores can be found below:
Each pupil is put into a Prior Attainment Group (PAG) based on their KS1 average point scores. It’s important to make sure you are calculating these correctly, understanding that it is not simply a case of adding up the three point scores and dividing by 3.
To calculate the child’s average point score (and therefore their PAG), the calculation you need to do is:
- Add the child’s point score for reading and writing together from the English and Reading tests.
- Divide this by 2.
- Add the child’s point score for maths to this total.
- Divide this new total by 2.
What Is The Next Step When Predicting Progress Scores?
After the calculation above, each PAG is then given an average scaled score.
This is the actual average of the scaled scores of all children nationally who fit into the PAG. Therefore it is likely to be slightly different for 2019 than 2018, however given the change in scaled scores, we can expect that these will be roughly the same, and that the 2018 figures are likely to give you a ‘worst case’ scenario for progress.
The individual progress scores for all children who have KS1 assessment data available (meaning children were in the UK in state education at the end of KS1, even if they weren’t in your school) are all totalled per subject, and divided by the number of eligible pupils (i.e removing those that have been disapplied and those that don’t have KS1 assessment data) to give the school average.
You can only make a rough prediction at this stage, as the tables which give the average scaled scores for each PAG will not be published until at least October. You can find the latest tables and data here.
There has been some variance between the 2016, 2017 and 2018 averages for each PAG, but when taken as an average across the school, it is likely that predictions made based on 2017 average scaled scores can be made with a fair degree of accuracy.
What About Pupils With Extremely Negative Progress Scores In KS2 SATS?
Remember, that just like last year, the DfE has put in place measures to help reduce the impact of pupils with disproportionately negative progress scores (i.e. those who scored highly at KS1 but significantly below national standard in 2019 KS2 SATs).
However, before you get too excited, these only apply in very rare circumstances.
The table below, taken from the 2018 technical guidance, shows the lowest progress measure for each prior attainment group.
If a child’s progress is BELOW the figures in the table, their progress score is REPLACED by the figure in the table below.
Remember That Floor Standards And Coasting Schools Are No More
Back in May, the DfE announced that from this year, there are no floor standards or coasting school definitions. So this is one less measure to worry about!
Look For Patterns And ‘Messages’ From Your KS2 SATs Results Data
It goes without saying that it is then important to look at your school level data, including any progress predictions you may have made, and see what ‘messages’ they are sending.
Three key questions to ask:
1.Is there only one subject where your results do not meet or exceed national averages?
If so, if this a pattern from previous years, or something new for this year?
- Is there one subject which is impacting on children gaining expected standard across all 3 subjects?
For example, do you have a disproportionate number of children who gained expected standard in Reading and Writing but not in Maths? If so, consider how you will track this for your 2019 cohort to make sure this does not become a pattern.
- Is there a gap between attainment of any key groups? (i.e. boys/girls, Pupil Premium/Non Pupil Premium, Girls/Boys).
If so, how can these effectively be addressed?
Once you’ve analysed your data and have looked for patterns, make sure you learn from it!
Consider what you need to put in place to help improve (or maintain) your results for future years.
Remember, the KS2 SATs are only a measure, but they are a measure of the whole of KS2, not just Year 6 – so any issues you have identified, and/or changes you make, need to take place across all of the school to have a real impact at the end of KS2.
Support Your Staff Regardless Of Your KS2 SATs Results In 2019
Remember, before thoughts turn to reporting to parents and letting children know their test scores, key staff members will need their school leaders’ support.
If the 2019 SATs results are good, then there is cause to celebrate.
Your Year 6 team deserve a pat on the back, at the very least!
If the results are not as expected or desired then, putting aside personal thoughts and feelings, it is a leader’s responsibility to help staff come to terms with disappointment first and foremost.
Remember, KS2 SATs are a whole-school effort and the responsibility for results should not fall solely on the shoulders of the Year 6 teachers. So that you can make any follow up productive, teachers will need to feel trusted and supported by their leaders – try to avoid any ‘knee-jerk’ reactions.
Don’t Forget To Report KS2 SATs Results To Children And Parents
Naturally, children will want to know their scores, and remember that schools are legally required to provide a written report which includes results of national curriculum tests (including the scaled score and measure of if they have met the expected standard or not) alongside teacher assessment judgements.
It is also a legal requirement that you provide enough time for parents to have the opportunity to discuss the results if they wish.
What Else Can You Do For Your Year 6 Pupils?
Beyond the statutory letter, it is up to individual schools what else they do.
Some send a more detailed letter, often explaining the role SATs tests have and how they are only part of the picture.
In some schools Year 6 teachers release time to sit with each child and explain their test results alongside teacher assessment data.
This gives staff an opportunity to show their children that the test is not the be-all-and-end-all.
It also lets them show the child that their full year of progress, not just the scores from the SATs matters too – but it is important that this is done on the same day (not before) that the results go out to parents.
And Finally – Look On The Bright Side Of Your 2019 KS2 SATs Results!
When results come out, especially if they are less than ideal, It’s easy to forget to look for the positives.
However, positives will be there!
Look at successes for particular individuals or pupil groups, or certain complete tests that have gone well for your cohort – these will all provide reasons to celebrate.
Remember, any more negative trends can begin to form part of your plan for next year. It’s important not to just focus and dwell on what went wrong, but to think forward to how to do it right next time.
It’s also worth remembering that your children are more than a score- as this video shows: