What is Standard Progress?

The measure of Standard Progress is a simple method to track pupil progress against National Standards. If this method does not meet a school’s requirements, it is possible to customise the values and define your own School Progress measure.

KS1 to KS2

The Standard Progress measure between KS1 and KS2 is based on the fact that, in the national assessment system, there are 12 points between the expected level of achievement at KS1 (Level 2, 15 points) and the expected level of achievement at KS2 (Level 4, 27 points). Over the 4 year period, pupils are expected to progress by 12 points, an average of 3 points per year.

We create the measure of Standard Progress by calculating the KS1 average points score for each pupil, projecting this forward by adding 3 points each year and converting the points to levels. The advantage of this system is that each pupil has his or her own line of Standard Progress, which is based on actual KS1 performance but which is projected forward according to the agreed national standard. It is therefore easy to see whether a pupil is performing in line with what is expected, given the pupil’s individual starting performance at KS1. Exactly the same procedure is used to calculate the Standard Progress line for classes or ‘groups’ of pupils, using each class’s/group’s KS1 average points score as the starting point.

There are two practical problems in implementing this system:

  1. in the national system, there is a 2 point increase between each sub-level, so incrementing from a KS1 average points score by 3 points per year will sometimes produce an arithmetical point score, which has no exact level equivalent. In such cases, we assign the next level down from the calculated points score. An example will make this clear. Suppose a pupil’s APS is calculated as 15, over the next 4 years, the Standard Progress calculation will look like this:
Year 3 18 2A
Year 4 21 3B
Year 5 24 3A
Year 6 27 4B
  1. the second problem arises if the pupil has no KS1 average points score, maybe due to absence or having come from another school or country. In such cases, the system allows you to allocate a temporary score, using your professional judgement as to the likely APS, which the pupil might have achieved.

Point of entry in Reception to KS1

Tracking pupils’ progress from Point of Entry in the Reception class to Key Stage One, presents particular difficulties because of the different scales which are used to measure performance over these years (e.g. FSP points, P scales and National Curriculum levels/points).

To measure progress you need a common scale: for this, the only realistic possibility is to use National Curriculum points. This means that we have had to provide National Curriculum points which will be equivalent to the FSP points and P scales. The following table and notes show how this has been done and provide our rationale.

FSP points NC Points P scales NC levels NC Points NC levels NC Points
0 0 0
1 0 P1 0 P1 0
2 0 P2 0 P2 0
3 0 P3 X 0 P3 0
4 1 P4 WC 1 X 0
5 2 P5 2 P4 1
6 3 P6 WB 3 WC 1
7 4 P7 4 P5 2
8 5 P8 WA 5 WB 3
9 7 6 P6 3
1C 7 W 3
1B 9 P7 4
1A 11 WA 5
2C 13 P8 5
2B 15 1C 7
2A 17 1B 9
3C 19 1A 11
3B 21 2C 13
3A 23 2B 15
4C 25 2A 17
4B 27 3C 19
4A 29 3B 21
5C 31 3A 23
5B 33 4C 25
5A 35 4B 27
4A 29
5C 31
5B 33
5A 35


  1. We assume (on the basis of discussion with trial schools) that FSP point 9 is roughly equivalent to NC Level 1C and therefore equivalent to 7 NC points.
  2. Since FSP points 0-3 are assessed as below the Early Learning Goals, it seemed logical to assign FSP 4 as the start of the NC points scale, giving it an equivalent NC points score of 1.
  3. Working up from there produces the NC points listed in the table: note that FSP 6 (the expected outcome for median performance at the end of Reception) is thus equivalent to NC point 3.
  4. For P scales, we have assumed that P scale 8 must be below NC level 1C, since P scales are used to measure achievement which would otherwise be rated W on the NC scale.
  5. We have further assumed that if NC level W were to be split into sub-levels after the model of 1A, 1B, 1C etc, this would imply that WA had a NC point score of 5, WB of 3 and WC of 1.
  6. We have therefore aligned P8 with the notional WA and assigned it 5 points, and extending this down the scale means that P scale 4 (the first curriculum related P level) is equivalent to NC point 1.

Expected Progress

  1. The DCSF has determined that NC level 2B is the expected outcome for median progress as KS1.
  2. It has also determined that FSP 6 is the expected outcome at the end of Reception for a child showing ‘a good level of development’.
  3. Further, the DCSF stated, in its August 2006 advice on target setting, that, at Key Stage One, “Children should generally make at least 1 level progress per year across the key stage”.
  4. In its August 2007 advice on target setting, the DCSF has modified its position, so that, while continuing to say that ‘children need to reach level 2B or above by the end of year 2’, it concludes that ‘depending on their starting point on entering Key Stage 1 children should have targets to make at least I level of progress across the key stage’.
  5. We find the DCSF’s 2007 advice confusing and have preferred to stick with the common sense view that a target of Level 2B at the end of year 2, implies that pupils need to make one level of progress each year (in line with the DCSF’s 2006 advice). This means that pupils are expected to reach FSP 6 (equivalent to NC points 3) at the end of Reception and are then expected to make 6 points progress (one level) to NC level 1B at the end of Year 1 and a further 6 points progress to NC level 2B by the end of Key Stage One.
  6. We have built these levels and the expected progress, in terms of NC points scores, into the tracking system in the Infant stage of the Progress toolkit.


A second problem in tracking progress from Point of Entry to KS1 is that the Foundation Stage profile does not use subjects in the same way as the National Curriculum. To provide FSP subject starting values which will approximate to the National Curriculum core subjects we have used the following:

  • Speaking & listening: use an average of Dispositions & attitudes and Language for communication and thinking
  • Reading: use an average of Dispositions & attitudes, Language for communication and thinking, Reading
  • Writing: use an average of Dispositions & attitudes, Linking sounds and letters, Writing
  • Maths: use an average of Dispositions & attitudes and the 3 maths scales
  • Science: no equivalent

Enquiries or comments to:

Roger Watson, Statistics for Education

Email: statsed@gmail.com

Phone: 01279 652183

Website: www.primaryprogresstoolkit.co.uk

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