How can we all be above the median?

Schools in the UK have become so used to accepting targets from government that now they are accepting their responsibility to do the impossible.

We all know that to Ofsted ‘satisfactory’ is no longer ‘satisfactory’. However I have realised that the latest government floor standards have a huge flaw. The DfE say that a school would be seen as “underperforming” if its Key Stage 2 results are below the average percentage of pupils at the end of KS2 making expected progress in English or Maths. This average is calculated by the median. The problem is that the median is the numerical value separating the higher half of the population from the lower half.

In this case every year 50% of schools will be “underperforming”. This is the definition of the median. If every school got above 90% then still 50% would be below the median, and therefore failing.

If you want to force every school to be an academy then why not call half the schools “underperforming” and they’ll be in the hands of private companies in no time.


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