As each year group completes a key stage, FFT calculate a score using the students’ key stage assessment and rank the national cohort. The ranked cohort is then broken into the top, middle and bottom thirds, resulting in the high, middle and low prior attainment bands. This process ensures that each year group has the same percentage of students in each band regardless of changes in the national average.
Since 2020, secondary schools have been able to submit their new year 7’s CAT4 scores to FFT from which benchmark estimates are calculated. In the case of students whose prior attainment is based on CAT4 scores, their four test scores (verbal, non-verbal, quantitative, spatial) are averaged and a threshold is used to band them ≥112 is high, 89-111 is middle and ≤88 is low
For the KS4 self-evaluation reports for years prior to 2020, FFT has adopted the Department for Education’s pre-reform calculations for students assessed with levels at KS2.