Abstract

Value-added indicators are now a central part of school accountability in England, and value-added information is routinely used in school improvement at both the national and the local levels. This article describes the value-added models that are being used in the academic year 2007–8 by schools, parents, school inspectors, and other professionals in local and national governments. The article outlines the development of value-added models in England following the introduction of national testing at ages seven, eleven, and fourteen in the 1990s. It describes the current “contextual” value-added models in detail, looking at the mathematical specification of the multilevel models and discussing the practical choice of explanatory attainment and contextual variables. The article also describes various uses of the value-added models, including in the published school achievement and attainment tables and in the RAISEonline system that supports schools in their self-evaluation and development planning and informs external inspection.

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