The following guide explains what Level 3 Value Added is, the criteria students must meet to be included, and how it is calculated within the KS5 Reports, with worked examples.
The figures used in the examples throughout this guide as based on the data available in the DfE’s 2019 amended Ready Reckoner. 
What is Value Added?
Level 3 Value Added (VA) is a KS5 performance measure that calculates KS4KS5 progress in A Level, Academic, and Applied General qualifications. This is used to show how well students have progressed compared to students nationally with similar prior attainment at KS4.
The calculations shown in this guide are based on official DfE guidance: DfE’s 16 to 18 Accountability Measures: Technical Guide (page 93 onwards).
What students are included?
For value added scores to be calculated for students within a particular qualification, they must have the following:
 A student status of one of the following:
 On Roll,
 On Roll (Aged 18)
 Year 12 Only / Year 12 Addback,
 Year 13 Only / Year 13 Only (Aged 18)
 Appropriate KS4 prior attainment
 A valid grade uploaded for a qualification with national data assigned
Unofficial Value Added scores can be calculated for all discounted grades, students, and qualifications, regardless of whether they count towards school performance measures. For example, ‘Guest’ students and unapproved qualifications. These VA figures however, will not impact on school performance measures. 
Calculating Student VA
Before Value Added can be calculated for overall performance cohorts, each student’s VA score must be calculated for each qualification they’re taking, where eligible.
1 / VA Expectation
To calculate an individual student’s VA score, their ‘Expected Outcome Attainment’ must be calculated first. This is calculated using a student’s relevant KS4 prior attainment to determine which ‘Average Prior’ and therefore ‘Expected Outcome’ band they are placed in. This is then used to calculate a student’s Expected Outcome Attainment value (E):
(Where O1/O2 is the lower/upper Expected Outcome band, KS4 is the KS4 core baseline data used for this qualification, and P1/P2 is the lower/upper Average Prior band)
The following prior attainment should be used to place students into the appropriate ‘Average Prior’ band, provided by the DfE:
 GCE A Level and Academic qualifications: KS4 GCSE Average Point Score
 Applied General qualifications: KS4 Overall Average Point Score
A student’s KS4 prior attainment is determined by the ‘KS4 Core Baselines’ imported by the Sisra Admin at your school.
Worked Example
Below you can see an overview of the grades Student A achieved in KS4. The points behind each grade are then averaged to produce two KS4 prior attainments, one based on GCSE/AS Levels only and another using all the student’s grades.


* Combined Science would be treated as 1 entry with the points averaged.
The student is then placed into an ‘Average Prior’ band for each qualification they are taking and the equivalent ‘Expected Outcome’ band is calculated from this. For example, for A Level History, Student A’s KS4 GCSE APS (6.23) would place them between Average Prior Band 11 and 12 (in 2019):
As the same expected outcome bands are used, this would place them between Expected Outcome Band 11 and 12:
Average Prior and Expected Outcome bands can be found on the ‘National lines lookup’ sheet within the DfE’s L3VA Ready Reckoner. You can find the most recent here. 
Therefore, their VA Expectation would be calculated as follows using the lower and upper boundaries of these bands:
VA Expectation = 36.795492 or 36.795 (to three decimal places)
VA Expectation is shown throughout the reports and is displayed to three decimal places.
2 / Value Added Points Score
A Value Added points score is calculated for each individual student’s qualifications by subtracting their VA Expectation in that qualification from the KS5 grade points they have achieved. The points used for the KS5 qualification are not standardised to the equivalent of 1 entry.
Worked Example
For example, Student A has achieved a grade B (40 points) in A Level History. Their VA point score for History would be calculated as follows:
40  36.795
VA Points Score = 3.205
3 / Value Added Score
The students VA point score is then used to calculate their final Value Added Score for that particular qualification. This is done by converting the VA points scores into a grade by dividing the value by 10 and by the size of the qualification, as per the calculation below:
Worked Example
For Student A, using their VA Points Score above, this would then calculate their A Level History Value Added score as follows:
Student A’s History A Level Value Added Score = 0.32 (to two decimal places)
In the example above, Student A is performing a third of a grade better in History, with a full grade being 1, than others with the same expected outcome. This process is repeated for each qualification a student has a grade for, and is then used to calculate the school Value Added scores for each performance cohort, qualification or class (where eligible), explained below.
Each student’s Value Added score for a particular qualification can be found in the ‘VA’ column (to 2 decimal places) in the Grade Analysis report > Grade List (with a qualification selected).
Please note: At student level, the VA figures displayed in Analytics will not necessarily match the DfE Ready Reckoner. This is because Analytics displays the VA score in terms of grades, whereas the ready reckoner shows this in terms of points. Using Student A above, the ready reckoner would display a figure of 3.21 (2dp). 
Calculating Student Average VA
Analytics also provides each student’s average value added score, for each performance cohort or overall.
This would involve calculating the qualifications weighted VA score:
Then using this to calculate the student’s average VA:
Worked Example
For example, Student A took five qualifications, three of which are A Levels, one Academic, and one Applied General.
The table below shows their weighted VA score, calculated using their VA score and the qualification’s size. The Size and Weighted VA Scores are then totalled:
Qualification  Performance Cohort  VA Score  Size  Weighted VA Score 
Accounting A2  A Level  1.61  1  1.61 * 1 = 1.61 
BTEC Business (Diploma)  Applied General  0.05  1.5  0.05 * 1.5 = 0.075 
Extended Project  Academic  0.48  0.3  0.48 * 0.3 = 0.144 
Geography A2  A Level  1.29  1  1.29 * 1 = 1.29 
History A2  A Level  0.32  1  0.32 * 1 = 0.32 
TOTAL:  4.8  3.289 
The final step would be:
Student A’s Average Value Added Score = 0.69 (displayed as 2dp in Analytics)
Each student’s Value Added scores for their qualifications can be found in the ‘VA’ column in the Value Added report > Value Added View > Grouped By ‘Students’.
U Grades at A Level ”In the level 3 value added measure, if a student passes an AS level but fails the A level for the same subject, the A level will be included in the value added calculation and the AS level will not” – Quote from Department of Education Due to this, Value Added scores will be calculated individually for each grade/qualification, but only the score for the grade worth more entries will be used to calculate headline Value Added. 
Calculating Qualification and Class VA
Individual qualification and class Value Added is calculated from the average of the Value Added scores of all students who were included in the VA calculations for that qualification/class, as per the calculation below:
Worked Example
For example, there are 10 students taking A Level History, with their individual student VA scores shown in the table on the right. Therefore, the Value Added for this qualification is calculated as below: A Level History Value Added Score = 0.06 (displayed as 2dp in Analytics) 

In the example above, History is performing almost as expected, based on students with the same expected outcome.
Each qualification’s Value Added score can be found in the ‘VA’ column in the Value Added report > Value Added View > Grouped By ‘Qualifications’.
Calculating Performance Cohort VA (VA scores by qualification type)
As per DfE guidance, Value Added scores are also calculated for individual performance cohorts, including:
 A Level
 Academic (A Level and Academic qualifications)
 Applied General
Overall VA is also included within Analytics, although not officially reported on by the DfE. This is calculated using the same methodology as the official performance cohorts (covered below), with the exception that all VA eligible qualifications are included in this single, overall school level cohort VA. 
Value Added scores for performance cohorts is calculated in 3 stages, outlined below.
1 / Weighted VA Point Score
Firstly, the weighted qualification size is calculated for each qualification, using the formula below:
Most qualifications carry a weighting of 1. However, General Studies and PreU Certificate in Global Perspectives is an exception to this, with a weighting of 0.5 as per the DfE’s Ready Reckoner (at the time of writing). 
Worked Example
For example, School A offers 3 A Level qualifications and 1 Academic qualification. The table below lists each of these qualifications, their VA score, weighting, and the number of eligible VA scores in each, which can be used to produce the weighted VA points score for each qualification.
Qualification  Performance Cohort  VA Score  Weighting  Num of Eligible VA Scores  Weighted VA Points Score 
Accounting A2  A Level  0.15  1  10  0.15 * 1 * 10 = 1.5 
Extended Project  Academic  1.54  0.3  14  1.54 * 0.3 * 14 = 6.468 
Geography A2  A Level  0.09  1  14  0.09 * 1 * 14 = 1.26 
History A2  A Level  0.06  1  11  0.06 * 1 * 11 = 0.66 
2 / Weighted Qualification Size
The next step is to calculate the total weighted size of all qualifications in that performance cohort, using the following formula:
Worked Example
Following on from School A’s example above, the weighted qualification size has been added by multiplying the number of eligible VA scores by the qualification’s weighting.
Qualification  Performance Cohort  VA Score  Weighting  Num of Eligible VA Scores  Weighted VA Points Score  Weighted Qualification Size 
Accounting A2  A Level  0.15  1  10  1.5  10 * 1 = 10 
Extended Project  Academic  1.54  0.3  14  6.468  14 * 0.3 = 4.2 
Geography A2  A Level  0.09  1  14  1.26  14 * 1 = 14 
History A2  A Level  0.06  1  11  0.66  11 * 1 = 11 
3 / Performance Cohort VA
The final step in order to calculate the performance cohorts VA score is to sum the weighted VA point score and weighted qualification size calculated earlier, and divide these as per the formula below:
Worked Example
Following on from School A’s example, we can then calculate the VA figure for their A Level performance cohort and Academic cohort. To do this, we totalled the weighted VA points score and weighted qualification size for all qualifications included in the respective performance cohort:
A Level Performance Cohort  
Qualification  Performance Cohort  VA Score  Size  Num of Eligible VA Scores  Weighted VA Points Score  Weighted Qualification Size 
Accounting A2  A Level  0.15  1  10  1.5  10 
Geography A2  A Level  0.09  1  14  1.26  14 
History A2  A Level  0.06  1  11  0.66  11 
TOTAL:  3.42  35 
The Extended Project qualification wouldn’t be included in the schools A Level VA calculation, as this would only count in the Academic performance cohort.
The total weighted VA point score for the A Level cohort would be divided by the total weighted qualification size:
A Level (Overall) Value Added Score = 0.10 (displayed as 2dp in Analytics)
Academic Performance Cohort  
Qualification  Performance Cohort  VA Score  Size  Num of Eligible VA Scores  Weighted VA Points Score  Weighted Qualification Size 
Accounting A2  A Level  0.15  1  10  1.5  10 
Extended Project  Academic  1.54  0.3  14  6.468  4.2 
Geography A2  A Level  0.09  1  14  1.26  14 
History A2  A Level  0.06  1  11  0.66  11 
TOTAL:  9.888  39.2 
Both A Level and Academic qualifications are included in ‘Academic’ VA calculations, as per DfE guidance.
The total weighted VA point score for the Academic cohort would be divided by the total weighted qualification size:
Academic Value Added Score = 0.25 (displayed as 2dp in Analytics)
Looking at this schools VA figures, we can see that their A Level cohort is performing just higher than expected, whilst their Academic cohort is performing a quarter of a grade higher than expected.
Each performance cohort’s Value Added score can be found in the specific performance cohort section of your Headlines report.
Calculating Qualification and Class Confidence Limits
Confidence limits are calculated using confidence intervals produced by the DfE, to take into account the uncertainty associated with Value Added figures, which relates to influences on student performance that are outside of a school’s control. Within Analytics these can be found at qualification, class, faculty, group, and performance cohort level.
Confidence intervals for qualifications and classes are calculated first, using the VA score, the national Variance of Error provided by the DfE, and the number of grades included. This is shown within the following formula:
The National Variances of Error for each qualification can be found in the DfE’s Ready Reckoner (available here) on the ‘Variance lookup’ sheet, under the ‘SD_SUQU’ column. 
Worked Example
The confidence intervals for ‘A Level History’ would be calculated using the VA score of 0.06 (see table above), national variance of error of 0.918551814386108, and number of grades for that qualification. This would provide the following formula:
This gives the following confidence limits:
Therefore, we can be statistically confident that the VA score for A Level History lies between these figures.
The faculty/group confidence limits are based on the average VA score for all qualifications/filter values within the faculty/group. 
These confidence limits can be found when grouping the Value Added report by Qualifications, Classes, Faculties, or Groups.
Calculating Performance Cohort Confidence Intervals
Confidence intervals for individual performance categories (A Level, A Level and Other Academic, or Applied General) are calculated using the VA scores for each individual qualification, the size of all qualifications and the standard deviation provided by the DfE. This is calculated via the following steps:
1 / Calculate the standard error per qualification
This is done by finding the standard deviation for each qualification from the DfE’s Ready Reckoner and then finding the square root of the standard deviation squared, divided by the number of eligible VA scores.
Academic Performance Cohort  
Qualification  Performance Cohort  VA Score  Size  Num of Eligible VA Scores  Standard Deviation  
Accounting A2  A Level  0.15  1  10  1.140663  
Extended Project  Academic  1.54  0.3  14  1.239516  
Geography A2  A Level  0.09  1  14  1.083539  
History A2  A Level  0.06  1  11  1.029384 
2 / Calculate the overall error for each qualification
This is done by multiplying the standard error for each qualification from Step 1 by the number of eligible VA scores and dividing by the total number of grades for the qualification type, all squared. The total for each qualification type is then calculated by summing the scores for each qualification of that type.
Academic Performance Cohort  
Qualification  Performance Cohort  VA Score  Size  Num of Eligible VA Scores  Standard Deviation from Step 1  Overall Qualification Error 
Accounting A2  A Level  0.15  1  10  0.360709  
Extended Project  Academic  1.54  0.3  14  0.331275  
Geography A2  A Level  0.09  1  14  0.245258  
History A2  A Level  0.06  1  11  0.276954  
A LEVEL TOTAL:  0.027822  
ACADEMIC TOTAL:  0.109743 
Please note: AS and A Levels are counted as separate qualification types, so if have both you would need to sum these separately.
3 / Find the square root of the total for each qualification type
Take the total value for each qualification type from Step 2 and find the square root of each.
4 / Calculate the overall standard error for the qualification type
This can be found for each qualification type by multiplying the value from Step 3 by the total number of eligible VA scores for the qualification type and size and dividing by the total number of entries, all squared. These are then added together.
Qualification Type  Total Qualification Type VA Scores  Size  Total Qualification Type Entries  Qualification Type Standard Error 
A Level  35  1  35 * 1 = 35  
Academic  14  0.3  14 * 0.3 = 4.2  
TOTAL:  0.023439 
5 / Calculate the confidence interval
The confidence interval can then be calculated by using the critical value (1.96) and multiplying this by the square root of the value from Step 4.
6 / Calculate the upper/lower confidence limits
The Upper and Lower Confidence Limits can then be calculated by adding or subtracting the Confidence Interval from the VA score:
Analytics and the Ready Reckoner use the unrounded Value Added figure in their calculations, which is then displayed to 2 decimal places. 
These intervals can be found on the Headlines report.
Thanks for reading!