School Accountability Toolset
for equity and learning
Academic accountability and pupils' background
There is a common understanding that school results are related to differences in socioeconomic situation (SES) of the pupils.
Therefore school accountability measures should factor in the socio-economic background of their pupil intake.
The Swedish National Agency of Education has developed a data system that calculates the results a school should have (both average marks and share of pupils above the "pass" threshold)
taking into account its SES concerning the number of boys, the number of immigrant pupils and the parents' mean educational level (1-3 scale).
A residual is calculated that shows the divergence between the mean result of all schools grouped according to pupil intake and each school in the group.
If the residual is positive, your school performs better than the average school in your group. If it’s negative your school performs worse.
An accountable school should perform at least as good as the average school with similar pupil intake (in terms of its SES),
while a successful should perform better than expected in relation to schools with similar pupil intake.
In the table below from the SALSA data base shows how schools differ concerning these two important outcomes.
How two Swedish schools differ in their academic performance taking into account the pupils' SES
As shown on the table above, School A achieves over expectations, given its pupil intake, both concerning its average marks and its share of pupils with a "pass" or above (see last two columns).
School B’s results are below expectations in both marks and passes. School B also has low actual academic performance and is in need of special support.