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Frequently asked questions

Quick answers to some common questions.

I've forgotten my FFT Aspire password
What is my FFT Aspire username?

Your username is your account email address.

How does FFT calculate benchmark estimates in FFT Aspire?

FFT calculates estimates from the Value-Added score of pupils in the previous year’s results datasets. Each student has a unique set of estimates which are calculated from the results and Value-Added scores of students similar to them. Similar students are identified by their:

  • Prior attainment (their previous Key Stage assessments)
  • Gender
  • Month of birth
How is the 'Your School' figure calculated?

The “Your school” percentile rank is based on the school’s weighted Value-Added score over the last three years for Average Points Score in the selected subject. Greater weight is given to the most recent data: the most recent year is given a weighting of 3, the previous year a weighting of 2 and the year before that a weighting of 1. For example, if a school had the same number of pupils in each cohort, the weighted VA score would be the sum of 50% of the VA score for 2016, 33% of the VA score for 2015 and 17% of the VA score for 2014.

FFT then compares the school’s weighted VA rank to all other mainstream schools nationally and calculate a percentile rank.

What is the difference between FFT 50, 20 and 5 estimates?

FFT benchmarks are based on how similar pupils nationally performed in the subject last year (similar pupils are defined as similar prior attainment, gender and month of birth).

There are three options available:

  • Average – schools that made the average progress last year (FFT50 – 50th percentile progress)
  • High – schools that made greater than average progress (FFT20 – 20th percentile progress)
  • Very High – schools that made much greater than average progress (FFT5 – 5th percentile progress).

Increasing the level of challenge will increase the benchmark values. The “Your school” ranking is a good starting point for target setting discussions at school level.

Why won't my pupils match through importing?

There could be a number of factors preventing matching. To put the matching process in context, the imported file is checked against the DfE’s census return that is reflected in Aspire (this may not be the most recent) and any matching pupils are then added to the school’s records in Aspire. Factors such as incorrect UPN, Date of Birth and Gender can lead to a match not being found, therefore a user should ensure that these details exactly reflect the National Pupil Dataset. A pupil may also not have appeared in a census return for various reasons.

How are High, Medium and Lower (HML) bands calculated in FFT Aspire?

(Please refer to HML for more information)

Where can I find my early results analysis report?

If you are successfully logged on to FFT, and have previously taken part in the early results service, go to your 2022 menu at the top your screen and select Primary (or Secondary) Results service option. It will show you a list of dates you uploaded the files and you can click on the blue 2022 Reports button and then select the Key stage required to view the report. 

Why are my Year 1s, Year 3s and Year 12s without benchmarks?

If this is a new autumn term, the benchmarks will update based on DFE results data at the end October, and for Year 12s this likely be end of November.

Why are my Year 7s without benchmarks?

If this is a new autumn term, the benchmarks will update later in the term (October / November), based on data from the DFE. The school will also have the option to take part in the CAT4 assessment submission.

Where are the Question Level Analysis (QLA) reports?

These are shown in your FFT Special Reports section of your login (top right ‘down arrow’ and then Special Reports).

In Target Setting, what do the codes mean for 'A', 'N', 'B', and 'W' ?

In Target setting these refer to the following:

  • A (“Above national standard”) = working at greater depth within the expected standard (GDS);
  • N (“National Standard”) = working towards the expected standard (EXS);
  • W (“Working towards” = working towards the expected standard (WTS);
  • B (“Below national standard”) = working below the standard of national curriculum assessments (BLW)
What version of Census is FFT currently using?

FFT is using the Summer Census for 2019. Further updates for Census are expected later this year.

Why do I get a 'No Access' message when I have recently been able to get to that web page fine before?

This is likely because of a local issue with your browser, the best suggestion is to clear your browser cache in Chrome, then close your browser entirely and login and try the same page again.

Data exchange FAQs

We have run 'Check for updates' to import pupils via Data Exchange, but Pupil Tracker is still missing students even though they are showing in FFT Aspire. Why is this happening?

Even though you have run ‘Check for Updates‘ in Aspire, you will also need to run ‘Check for updates‘ in Pupil Assessment Tracker, as these are separate functions.

Make sure you have Manage Data and Pupil Tracking Create / Edit Assessment access rights (set by your local administrator), then click ‘Create Assessment‘ option, and then click ‘Check for Updates‘ to update the Pupil Tracker. (See Create Assessments for more information).

When clicking 'Check for updates' to import pupils via Data Exchange, the import takes ages and does not complete. The 'whirring icon' is showing. Why doesn't it complete?

This can sometimes happen during busy periods. Click on ‘Manage Imports‘ to check if it has actually completed. The most recent import will be shown at the top of the list in Manage Imports. If the import has not completed (i.e. does not exist) then this is usually a local issue at school, possibly a firewall setting, which prevents the site to complete the import (check this with your local IT Support). You could also try clearing your Chrome browser cache. If you are still having issues, please email support@fft.org.uk

How frequently do I need to 'Check for updates'?

This is not a fully automatic process at present, so the ‘Check for updates’ can be manually run as often as a school wishes. This will help to keep the FFT system in sync with the school’s MIS (Management Information System). It is planned in the future that this will become an automated over night process.

Why when I run 'Check for updates' it's prompting to delete loads of pupils?

This could be for a number of reasons. The most likely is you have not granted full access to ALL pupils in the Wonde (or Groupcall) portal. Please login to your portal for Wonde (or Groupcall) and make sure ALL pupils have been made available to FFT. 

I've ordered my connection, why haven't I heard anything?

When you order your connection from either Wonde or Groupcall, they will email you a list of instructions on how to set up and authorise your connection. Please follow these instructions carefully, once completed, you can continue with the next steps in the FFT setup process. Note: for Wonde connections there is a 24 to 72 hour period when all new connections are placed into an internal ‘audit check’. 

Why do you need staff email addresses?

These details are used to help populate logins for the Pupil Tracker feature, removing the need to manually enter email addresses. During the Pupil Tracker setup, you can choose which staff are given logins.   

Assessment tracker FAQs

In Assessment Tracker, NFER tests, SPAG have separate papers for Grammar and Spelling, but FFT are asking for one standardised score?

For now please just add the Grammar score. FFT will look at adding Spelling separately later

In Assessment tracker the years are duplicated Y1 Y1, Y2 Y2 etc when creating an assessment

It will be worth running ‘check for updates’ again in Create Assessment, this usually fixes this issue.

Why is our Pupil Assessment tracker showing zeros for Year 1 attainment when we have entered assessment results?

This is because if the estimates are zero for Year 1, the attainment in the reporting for Year 1 in Pupil Assessment tracker is also shown as zero. This is to prevent showing a meaningless difference figure. This will correct itself when EYFS prior attainment is updated on the site.

How to export from Assessment tracker?

Currently there is a Print option only available to you at the moment, via the Print icon. Export features might be added at a later date. However, within Assessment tracker, there is an option to generate a template which can be used for importing or exporting purposes.

Why can't you enter a 'N' in Assessment tracker?

Schools can only enter an N if they are entering Scaled Scores in DfE Tests or Teacher Assessments, when a pupil does not have a score. Entering N in any other assessment will count as an error and the assessment data will not save or the SAVE button will be greyed out.

Where is the data for my completed year 2 (now year 3's) and year 6 from last year?

Last year’s completed years are stored separately, just go to Pupil Assessment Tracker / Create & Edit Assessments then click on Completed Years. See more information on Completed Years.

Why do we get an error during the check for updates for APT (Pupil Tracking) which states - Error converting value An unexpected error has occurred. The issue has been logged. Exception while reading from stream to type FFT.DataExchange.Client.EmployeeDetailResponse Path, line 1, position 97

This error seems to occur for some schools during the check for updates for Pupil Tracking, if you re-run the update a few times this error will eventually clear and it will complete successfully. FFT Product Development team are aware of this issue and are looking to resolve it. 

KS4 / KS5 results service upload FAQs

The KS4 / KS5 Early Results spreadsheet is protected with validation, can this be removed so I can amend the spreadsheet?

Yes some schools also want to use ‘vlookup’ function in Excel for populating this. As it stands the spreadsheet is locked with validation but you can do the following:

Copy the downloaded spreadsheet (use top left cell to select all) to a new spreadsheet (top left cell – select all) but paste as values to remove the validation. This will then allow you to use ‘vlookups’. After updating, you can then copy & paste back to the original spreadsheet just the values for the grades and then submit the upload.

How to remove a pupils from the spreadsheet?

The template will not allow you to delete the row outright for the child you wish to remove, however, you can just delete the individual cells for that student, (e.g. Organisation, DFE number, Key stage, NC year etc.), so in effect you have an empty row. 

Attendance Tracker FAQs

Why does it say you need a Tableau account to access the Attendance tracker report?

The Tableau application is used to produce the Attendance Tracker report within Aspire. This message will only occur if a new user has been created in FFT that same day. If the user waits 24 hours, this will fix itself, as the ‘single sign-on’ over night update will allow the user access.

Where can I find more guidance?

Guidance can be found throughout this Support site as well as in FFT Aspire itself. Switch on Aspire Assistance (from the top-right of any Aspire report) to get advice on each part of a report.
If you are an administrator, please refer to the Administration section within this Help content.
If you have any further queries regarding FFT Aspire or your data, please email our support team on support@fft.org.uk or call on 01446 776 262 (option 2).

Updated on 31st May 2023

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