FOI release

Failing schools and academies

Information on schools below the floor standard.

Detail

  • Date requested: 29 June 2011
  • Publish date: 12 July 2011
  • Updated: 1 August 2011

Request

Can the department provide a list of the 200 failing schools that the department intends to make into academies?

Release

The department is not releasing a list of primary schools below the floor standard that have consistently under-performed over the last five years.

The following exemption applies to the list you have requested:

Section 36(2)(c) certain information is exempt from disclosure if, in the reasonable opinion of a qualified person, (in the case of government departments, a Minister) disclosure of the information under the Act ‘would be likely otherwise to prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs’.

While this exemption applies to the request for the national list of primary schools which are below the floor standard and have consistently under-performed over the last five years, the Department does recognise the importance of giving the public information on school performance in their local area.

Guidance is included below on where to find this information on individual schools, and how to use it to assess whether a school is below the primary school floor standard.

Accessing information on individual school performance 

A comprehensive range of information on school performance is available on the Department for Education website. The performance tables on the website provide information on individual schools’ performance, and can be used to assess whether a particular school is below the floor standard of expected school performance for 2008, 2009 and 2010. Prior to 2008 the measure of performance included science with English and maths.
 
The floor standards include a measure of pupil attainment, and measures of the progress that pupils make.
For primary schools, a school is below the floor standard if its Key Stage 2 (KS2)results are:

  • fewer than 60 per cent of pupils at the end of KS2 achieve level 4 or above in English and maths; and
  • below average (national median) percentage of pupils at the end of KS2 make expected progress in English (national median = 87 per cent); and
  • below average (national median) percentage of pupils at the end of KS2 make expected progress in maths (national median = 86 per cent)

Please note that a school must miss all three measures to be below the floor standard.
Further information on performance tables 2010 is on the Department for Education’s website.

To access performance data on individual schools, enter the school name and local authority area. The performance tables give year-on-year comparisons for each school’s results data, as well as contextual information on pupil cohorts.

The Section 36(2)(c) exemption which applies to the national lists of schools below the floor standard is a ‘qualified’ exemption. This exemption requires the department to complete a public interest test to assess whether the balance of public interest lies in releasing the information.

After assessing the balance of public interests, the department has concluded that the public interest lies in not releasing the national list of primary schools below the floor standard, that have consistently under-performed over the last five years. This will protect schools from negative publicity which could detract their attention from school improvement.

The department has taken account of the fact that information on individual school performance is already partially available, which helps to serve the public interest in government transparency and openness.