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A Working Paper: Art Assessment

Dan China


Targets are a contentious subject and FFT data is too often used unquestioningly. This is inappropriate. This presentation explains FFT and shows how it could contribute to setting a GCSE art target for a student. Lets call her Mary.


FFT needs to be demystified.

Using FFT to establish a target for Mary

• FFT does not set targets – schools do. • FFT is not psychometric testing based on En, Ma, Sci SATs. • FFT is just statistical data drawn from all the students who took art last year. • This is how it works -


First find all the students who took art last year

Using FFT to establish a target for Mary


Then find all those who had exactly the same SAT scores as Mary.

Using FFT to establish a target for Mary


Then select all students of same gender as Mary

Using FFT to establish a target for Mary


Then select students with similar ethnicity/context as Mary

Using FFT to establish a target for Mary


Then select students with a similar school context.

Using FFT to establish a target for Mary


This leaves the group of last year’s students with a STATISTICALLY similar starting points to Mary. (ie the same KS2 SAT’s, gender, ethnicity, context)

Using FFT to establish a target for Mary


Then sort this group by the GCSE grade they actually achieved last year. Use this to estimate the STATISTICAL probability of Mary getting any particular grade.

Using FFT to establish a target for Mary


In this group 40% got a D grade last year and 30% got a C grade.

Using FFT to establish a target for Mary


But D is NOT an FFT target, simply the most likely outcome statistically speaking.

Using FFT to establish a target for Mary


FFT does not know Mary. But her teacher does.

Using FFT to establish a target for Mary


“they provide an estimate of what might happen if your pupils make progress that is in line with that of similar pupils in previous years.� FFT guidance notes

NOT a target or prediction


Setting targets is best done with senior leaders who negotiate with departments, probably using the process on the right.

Using FFT to establish a target for Mary

1. Look at FFT probability range for all grades 2. Look at art teacher’s assessment records 3. Consider internal tracking data (other subjects) 4. Identify an appropriately challenging art target for Mary 5. Check aggregated, cohort level, targets against FFT


A Working Paper: Art Assessment

Dan China This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


Using FFT for Setting Targets