CEM at Durham University describe value-added as a measure, which offers:
- a fairer indication of how far a student has come
- a fairer measure of how well the school has brought that student on
- a fairer way to make comparisons between different schools’ performances
Value-added highlights to role of quality of teaching, availability of resources and many other factors, that may have an effect on the progress of individual pupils. It is calculated by considering a fixed period of time, to measure the amount of improvement a school has added to the pupil.
All schools improve their pupils in this way. However, if one school is increasing the achievement level of its pupils more than other schools are, then its pupils gain an additional advantage. It is this relative advantage that CEM refer to as 'value-added'.
In Year 10, students undertake a computer-based YELLIS assessment, provided by CEM at Durham University. This provides us with a detailed picture of each student's academic profile and potential across different subjects.
Using this data CEM predicts GCSE grades for each girl, by comparing with past students of similar academic profiles. When students collect their GCSE results at the end of Year 11, we compare the actual results with the grades predicted by CEM. This allows us to evaluate how much 'added-value' our teaching and wider education has delivered over the two-year period.
The process is the same for A Level students, with a baseline CEM assessment taken at the start of Year 12.
A whole host of factors influence academic attainment. From changing grade boundaries, to students' effort levels, personal health, home lives and availability of support. CEM takes these wider factors into account and in 2016, CEM indicated that a value-added score of more than 0.2 could be attributed directly to a schools' teaching and resources.