Birmingham Families of Primary schools

BEP are delighted to introduce the first edition of Families of Schools for Birmingham- Primary version 2016/17 as part of BEP’s mission to support schools working together.  The purpose of the document is to help primary schools see how other schools with similar intakes serve their pupils. To find out more watch the video and then download the document from the link below.

Families of Schools Video

Birmingham Families of Schools Document

To see the Birmingham Primary School Family document please click on the button below.


Tracy Ruddle

Hello my name is Tracy Ruddle and I am DCSI for BEP. Following the success of our first video communication we have decided to use the same method to tell you about our new initiative. So rather than spring watch welcome to Ruddle watch! I am delighted to introduce the first edition of Families of Schools for Birmingham as part of BEP’s mission to support schools working together.  Its purpose is to help primary schools see how others with similar intakes serve their pupils.  One of the things headteachers who are focussing on an aspect of school improvement request most is “where is it working well?”  Headteachers in London, the Black country and Manchester were provided with similar resources as part of the London/City Challenge programmes; they really valued these as helpful so I hope you take the time to familiarise  yourself with this resource.  While such a database exists nationally, we believe our document will be more helpful as it gives you a wider range of data to work with as well as just including Birmingham schools.

Schools in Birmingham face a number of challenges.  They also boast an enormous collective pool of expert leaders and teachers.  The purpose of this document is to point you towards similar schools facing similar circumstances with whom you can share practice and experiences.  Whatever the problem, this document shows there are always schools to whom you can turn and this is a very important and powerful school improvement tool.

We have grouped all Birmingham Primary schools into families according to prior attainment and context data.  You will find your school in one of these 22 families.  There are also additional families based on EAL and mobility indicators at the back of the document.  We are hoping that, should you find it useful, we can provide the document again following the 2017 results.


Greg Jones

My name is Greg Jones; I am the data manager for the Birmingham Education Partnership.

We launch the Birmingham Families of Schools as a tool to support you in your role of proactive school improvement.

We believe that our document is clear and transparent.

We have omitted National accountability measures to aid accessibility and illustrate the supportive nature of the document.

We have limited the data included to publically available information.

We have grouped schools using the same method as the Department for Education used to create groupings for previous Family of Schools documents.

Groupings have been calculated using the following elements:

  • Prior attainment composes 66% of the weighting
  • A combination of the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index and Free School Meal averages 20%
  • English as an additional language 10%
  • Mobility measure makes up the final 4%

The release of Families of Schools is linked to the publication of validated outcome data nationally.  We expect an updated version will be published in spring 2018 with summer 2017 outcome data and then refreshed annually.

Family characteristics sheets allow you to compare the breakdown of the pupil population for each school in the family.

Breakdowns available for you include:

  • Gender
  • Prior attainment
  • Ethnicity
  • Disadvantage indicator
  • English as an additional language
  • Special educational needs
  • Mobility
  • Absence

Family attainment sheets allow comparison of outcome data for each school, along with comparisons of combined attainment in some of the contextual groups.

There is no combined progress measure so three performance maps plot the attainment of schools in a family against progress for; reading, writing and mathematics.  This allows you to identify suitable schools to work on improvements with.

Tracking maps plot combined attainment against difference between combined attainment and lowest attaining subject.  This map highlights the issue schools are experiencing in tracking attainment across subject areas and enables you to identify sources for good practice.

I hope that this data rich resource will prove to be a valuable tool for utilising quantitative information in identifying potential qualitative improvements.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Tracy Ruddle

Thanks Greg. I hope you value this document as the supportive tool it is intended as; to develop and further strengthen your collaboration with other schools. The first stage is to share it with your colleagues internally, and school governors to bring about improvements for your pupils.  Use it alongside RAISE. Families of Schools played an integral part of the positive London story in recent years and I am confident it will help do the same for Birmingham.

You may want to use it when forming new peer review cluster or simply to create a group to focus on a shared problem.  How you use it is up to you but you may find it valuable to meet together in the families OR groups of 3 or so to see what common challenges you share.

Here is a case study from London: – Collaboration based on Similarities and Differences

“You know the way it works…………. Another pile of papers passes your desk pleading to be read!  On the occasion in question I am glad that I found some time to look at The Families of Schools document.

It was refreshing to see schools grouped by broad similarities in a non-judgmental way.  A few weeks’ later and following a speculative letter to the other Head Teachers in the Family, we found ourselves sitting around a table describing our schools and asking was there room for collaboration within this group?

The answer was yes!  Despite being involved in other collaboratives/partnerships, this one, based on a Family of Similar Schools, did not have predefined objectives or accountability frameworks.  This could be a collaboration designed by the schools involved and not externally driven.

The collaboration remained strong.  We have met a number of times and shared experiences, information and knowledge about the common issues that affect the school in our family.  This sharing of ‘knowledge capital’ has been very useful on a number of levels.

Although the schools share similarities there is a great deal of diversity in the group: 11-16; 11-18; single sex, mixed and faith schools all bring different solutions to common challenges in a non-competitive environment.

The richness and variety of approaches to common issues has been a major outcome of the collaboration.”

We know the 2016 data does not have the validity of previous years but if you like the principle of working with families of schools with similar starting points then we can provide you with an updated version this time next year using 2017 outcome data.  We will be asking you to feedback on the usefulness of this document for assisting with improvement during the summer term.

The successes we are trying to facilitate through BEP lie ultimately in your hands.  I hope that this document will help contribute to that. I look forward to hearing of your family successes.

And for the more eagle eyed among you yes I did get my hair done before this recording!