Institute of Positive Psychology and Education (IPPE) symposium

Published: Wednesday 14th January 2015

The Institute of Positive Psychology and Education (IPPE) will be hosting a symposium to be presented by Dr George Leckie, Senior lecturer in Social Statistics at the Centre for Multilevel Modelling, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol. 

Since 1992, the UK Government has published so-called ‘school league tables’ summarising the average educational ‘attainment’ and ‘progress’ made by pupils in each state-funded secondary school in England. In 2011, the Government made ‘expected progress’ their new headline measure of school progress.

Dr Leckie will present the results of the analyses of the data underlying the 2013 tables, in order to statistically critique the ‘expected progress’ approach and compare it to a multilevel ‘value-added’ modelling approach. The analyses find the UK ‘expected progress’ approach to be severely wanting. First, it encourages schools to concentrate their efforts on pupils who are borderline in terms of achieving ‘expected progress’. Second, it is biased in favour of schools with high prior attainment intakes. Third, it makes no attempt to quantify and communicate the statistical uncertainty in measuring school progress.

The symposium provides a valuable opportunity to gain some insights into the UK experience — what has worked and what has not — as well as directions for the future. Although focusing on the UK experience, the symposium can also inform the development of policies for monitoring/improving the performance of NSW and Australian schools and systems, as well as appropriate use of the My School website and NAPLAN tests for school reform and measuring the effectiveness of schools and teachers

Symposium details:

4.00pm–6.00pm, Monday 2 February, 2015

45–60 minute presentation, 30 minute formal discussion, 30 minute informal discussion (light refreshments will be provided)

The Peter Cosgrove Centre
Tenison Woods House
Level 22, 8–20 Napier Street
North Sydney NSW 2060

If you would like further information about the symposium, please contact:

If you would like to attend the symposium please email: by Friday 23 January 2015, quoting your name, professional affiliation, and email address. Please feel free to distribute to any potentially interested colleagues.

Download the Symposium invitation (PDF, 156KB)