The formative impact of summative assessment: The effective use of data to support school improvement in the UK


  • David Haggie RM Education
  • Tim Brighouse RM Education


This paper presents an overview of the growing range of assessment data which have become available to schools in England over the past decade. It describes initiatives including: the Families of Schools programme which has focused school improvement activity around schools grouped into networks of statistical peers created on the basis of school context and performance; national data services such as RAISEonline (a system to provide comparative longitudinal performance data to schools); and portals provided by awarding bodies which provide schools with a view of performance by subject and topic with a comparison to national patterns. It presents evidence of the overall impact of these initiatives drawing on the findings of a survey of 501 teachers and school leaders, usage data, and the experiences of the London Challenge (an initiative to improve schools in London). The paper argues that these initiatives increasingly form an important part of effective school improvement in the UK context.