EEF expands Families of Schools database to include every primary school in England

A new tool launched by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) today reveals big variations in the performance of disadvantaged pupils at similar primary schools across the country.

The interactive Families of Schools database looks at the individual characteristics of each primary school in England, including prior attainment, the proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals and the number with English as an additional language, to group each school into a ‘family’ of statistically similar schools.

New online index shows big variation in performance of similar primary schools across the country eef launches interactive database to encourage collaboration on boosting attainment and sharing what works.

The aim of the Families of Schools database is to encourage collaboration between primaries by allowing leaders to compare, for the first time, the performance of their disadvantaged pupils with similar schools in the country, helping them raise standards.

For example, in the top performing school of one ‘family’ of similar schools, 90% of their disadvantaged pupils achieved a Level 4B – the level most likely to lead to getting five good GCSEs later on - or higher in their Key Stage 2 Maths exam. In the worst performing school in that family, the equivalent figure was just 40%’.

While many primary schools in England have narrowed - and even closed - the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their better-performing peers, it remains large in many others. The Families of Schools database provides a structure for schools to learn from the best-performing school in their ‘family’, and be supported to improve.

Schools can also use the database to look at their performance in narrowing the attainment gap over the past five years and to see future projections based on the prior attainment of pupils. Presenting the data in this way allows schools to identify early what changes need to be made to improve their pupils’ attainment in the future.

The EEF has worked with Fischer Family Trust to compile the Families of Schools database. The Families of Schools database for secondary schools was launched last year.

Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said today:

“Many primary schools across the country are spending their pupil premium funding in ways that are transforming outcomes for disadvantaged pupils. But many are not and the attainment gap at a national level remains persistently wide.

“If all schools are to produce great results for all their pupils, it’s vital that we learn from the successes of the best-performing schools and enable this to be shared in a supportive and constructive way with those who need more help. For the first time, our Families of Schools database provides primary schools with a structure to do just that.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Education Endowment Foundation is a charity set up in 2011 by The Sutton Trust, as lead charity in partnership with Impetus Trust (now part of Impetus–The Private Equity Foundation), with a £125m founding grant from the Department for Education. It is dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement. Since its launch the EEF has awarded £75.4 million to 127 projects working with over 750,000 pupils in over 7,500 schools across England.
  2. There are 14,661 primary schools with usable data in the Families of Schools database. Where pupil numbers are six or under in any one sub-group (e.g. pupil premium), the data is not displayed to protect confidentiality.
  3. You can access the Families of Schools database here. The secondary school version was launched in January 2015.
  4. Schools are grouped into ‘families’ based upon five key criteria:
Average prior attainment40%
Variance in prior attainment5%
Percentage of pupils in highest and lowest IDACI bands10%