Key Stage 2 Prior Attainment Bands with Scaled Scores (August 2022)

*4Matrix update issued 29/07/2022 includes a function in the Admin > Edit Markbook tool to auto-generate PA Bands from Scaled Scores.*

Following the publication of Academic Year 2020/21 Key stage 4 performance on 4th November 2021, the DFE have confirmed how prior attainment groups are categorised for the 2020/2021 cohort who had scaled scores as their KS2 results instead of national curriculum levels (see 

This new categorising has changed the distribution of the numbers in each group with less pupils in the High prior attainer group and more students in the middle and low prior attaining groups compared to previous years.

The new categories are calculated in the following way: 

  • Low prior attainers (code L) have an average scaled score (average of their English reading and maths scaled scores) of below 100.
  • Middle prior attainers (code M) have an average scaled score greater than or equal to 100 but less than 110.
  • High prior attainers (code U) have an average scaled score greater than or equal to 110.


How to assign PA Bands in 4Matrix

  1. Select any series ('base data' is not series-specific and is linked to pupil records)
  2. Navigate to Admin > Edit Markbook.
  3. Go to File > Export to Excel to make a copy of existing data for future reference.
  4. Click on Calculate > Set Prior Attainment Bands (note that the top option is for Scaled Scores and the lower option is for legacy NC Levels)
  5. A confirmation pop-up appears
  6. The Prior Attainment Band column is populated and this information is now available in the KPI, Subject Overview and Filter tools.

You can also edit each pupil's PA Band value in Admin > Edit Pupils tool manually by clicking on the cell. The Prior Attainment Band is pupil-focussed which means it only needs to be entered once and the same value will show across all series. PA Bands can be used in the main Pupil Filter control and there will be a row for them by default in the KPI Summary and Subject Overview.

However, users do need to be aware that if using Research Groups the pupil populations within these do not update automatically. If you need further help or advice, please do contact support at


Article revised: 10/08/2022