Understanding school and college performance measures

How we interpret school and college performance data and report school performance measures.



This guide explains how we use data in the school performance tables to compare schools’ and colleges’ performance over time and to national averages. It also covers factors that can affect data in the school performance tables.

Use the guide if you are:

  • a parent, to compare your child’s performance and achievements to others in the school, college, local authority or England as a whole
  • a school governor, to improve school performance
  • in the Department for Education (DfE) or a government body, monitoring educational standards in England
  • in Ofsted, assessing school or college standards
  • in Ofqual, looking for evidence as part of a review to set and maintain standards
  • a local authority looking for evidence to hold a school to account
  • a school:
    • looking for data to evaluate your school’s performance against national standards
    • carrying out analysis or self-evaluation
  • a researcher analysing school data results

Updates to this page

Published 31 March 2016

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