Related people: Martijn Hogerbrugge

By generating high quality research-based evidence, the newly established WISERD Education Data Lab aims to help inform and challenge our understanding of educational processes and outcomes and to support the Wales education sector to meet the aims set out by the Welsh Government in their national mission for 2017-2021.

In order to undertake this work, the WISERD Education Data Lab has requested data on pupil characteristics, performance, and attendance/absence, as well as school-level characteristics, and demographic and geographic data from the Welsh Government. This data was made available by SAIL in October 2019, and is spread out over a total of 79 datasets. Over time, more datasets will be added to this initial release.

Of the 79 datasets, 18 contain information on the performance of pupils at the end of the various Key Stages of the current Welsh National Curriculum, as well as programmes, courses, and learning activities followed and completed in post-compulsory education (which includes Key Stage 5 A-levels). Observations across the datasets start in the academic year 2001/2002 and run until academic year 2016/2017. As the first assessments of pupil performance are done at age 7 (at the end of Key Stage 1/Foundation Phase, or in Year 2 of the National Curriculum), and the last assessments in compulsory education are at age 16 (at the end of Key Stage 4, or in Year 11 of the National Curriculum), we are able to examine the complete educational career of eight birth year cohorts (see Table 1). With the addition of performance records for more recent academic years, this number will only go up.

Table 1: Number of pupils included at each academic year by end of Key Stage

 

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 2

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 4

 

Current

All stages1

Current

All stages1

Current

All stages1

Current

All stages1

2001/2002

32,878

28,839

35,527

 

36,728

 

34,477

 

2002/2003

34,649

30,585

35,022

 

37,700

 

36,356

 

2003/2004

33,255

29,627

35,682

 

37,783

 

35,595

 

2004/2005

32,520

28,879

34,890

 

37,667

 

34,156

 

2005/2006

31,139

27,823

34,516

28,839

36,297

 

35,067

 

2006/2007

30,657

27,399

35,709

30,585

35,770

 

35,500

 

2007/2008

29,989

26,610

34,360

29,627

34,795

 

35,807

 

2008/2009

29,644

 

33,294

28,879

34,185

28,839

34,584

 

2009/2010

30,365

 

32,241

27,823

35,499

30,585

33,796

 

2010/2011

32,578

 

31,667

27,399

34,066

29,627

33,293

28,839

2011/2012

33,017

 

30,752

26,610

33,008

28,879

34,717

30,585

2012/2013

33,796

 

31,505

 

31,976

27,823

33,730

29,627

2013/2014

35,365

 

32,010

 

31,337

27,399

32,674

28,879

2014/2015

34,511

 

32,873

 

30,363

26,610

31,654

27,823

2015/2016

34,500

 

32,772

 

N/A

 

30,960

27,399

2016/2017

35,228

 

33,482

 

N/A

 

29,940

26,610

1 Number of pupils we have performance data on at this Key Stage, as well as all other Key Stages. NB: Birth year cohorts are colour coded over Key Stages.

As we know at which school each pupil is educated, we are able to link the pupil performance data with additional information on the schools, such as the size of the school, the number of pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM), the number of pupils with special educational needs (SEN), the teacher/pupil and gender ratios, as well as the number of (unfilled) vacancies and applications in a given year and the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation for the school area. Combined with additional demographic information we have for each pupil (week of birth, gender, ethnicity, FSM eligibility, having special educational needs, and mother tongue), we will be able to examine various predictors of pupil and (by aggregating the pupil data) school performance.        

Examples of some of the topics we will explore in our data, and in future blogs, are the identification and characteristics of More Able and Talented (MAT) pupils, the impact of GCSE early entry on pupil level outcomes and school-level measures of performance, school attendance and the patterns and predictors of school exclusions in Wales over time (both between and within academic years), by locality, and by school and school type.

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About the WISERD Education Data Lab:

WISERD Education Data Lab undertakes independent analysis of administrative education data, survey data and data linkage, alongside knowledge exchange and public dissemination of findings to inform national debate on some of the most contemporary and pressing educational issues facing Wales.

WISERD Education Data Lab is funded by Welsh Government, Economic and Social Research Council (award: ES/012435/1) and Cardiff University.

The statistics used in this report have been approved for publication by SAIL. This does not imply Welsh Government’s acceptance of the validity of the methods used to obtain these statistics, or of any analysis of the results. Rather, they have been deemed to be non-disclosive (i.e. individual pupils cannot be identified).

 

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