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Frequently asked questions

I've forgotten my password

You can reset your password by clicking on the “Forgotten Your Password?” link that can be found on the FFT Aspire login page ( or

You will be asked for your username and you will then receive an email containing a password reset link from

Please note the username for the admin site will be the Aspire-generated username which contains your DfE number. The username for the data site will be your email address.

Once you have clicked on the link you will be asked for certain characters from the answers to the security questions which you set up when you activated the account. Please note, these characters are case sensitive and that spaces count as characters.

You will then be allowed to choose a new password.

If you’re unable to reset your password using this method, your school’s Aspire administrator will need to reset your account. This will trigger an email providing you with your username and an activation link. You will also need to obtain the activation code from your school’s administrator.

What is my username?

If you are trying to access the administrator account, please visit and use the Aspire-generated username which can be found in the activation email from

If you are trying to access the data site, please visit, for which the username will be your email address.

I am receiving the message ‘Something has gone wrong, try refreshing your internet browser’.

This could be an issue with the browser you are using. Older versions of Internet Explorer sometimes generate caching problems. Try clearing your cache using your browser’s settings. If you are using Internet Explorer, we advise using an alternative browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

To use FFT Aspire, any user will need a computer (with Microsoft Windows or Apple MacOS) or tablet device (with Apple iOS, Android or Windows) which is connected to the internet and running a supported web browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer 8 or above). Please contact your IT department or support service regarding access to a different web browser.

To use Aspire you will also need access to the following URLs:

  • Required by Aspire
    •* (redirects to https automatically)
    • http://** (redirects to https automatically)
    • https://**
    • wss://*
  • Required by video embedded in Aspire

What are the two different Aspire websites?

FFT Aspire consists of two websites: the FFT Aspire for Administrators website, (, with which a school administrator can manage user access and the setting of benchmarks and targets at the school, and the FFT Aspire main site, (, through which pupil/school benchmarks and data analysis can be accessed.

How does FFT calculate benchmark estimates in FFT Aspire?

FFT calculates estimates from the Value-Added score of pupils in the previous year’s results datasets. Each student has a unique set of estimates which are calculated from the results and Value-Added scores of students similar to them. Similar students are identified by their:

  • Prior attainment (their previous Key Stage assessments)
  • Gender
  • Month of birth

How is the ‘Your School’ figure calculated?

The “Your school” percentile rank is based on the school’s weighted Value-Added score over the last three years for Average Points Score in the selected subject. Greater weight is given to the most recent data: the most recent year is given a weighting of 3, the previous year a weighting of 2 and the year before that a weighting of 1. For example, if a school had the same number of pupils in each cohort, the weighted VA score would be the sum of 50% of the VA score for 2016, 33% of the VA score for 2015 and 17% of the VA score for 2014.

FFT then compares the school’s weighted VA rank to all other mainstream schools nationally and calculate a percentile rank.

What is the difference between FFT 50, 20 and 5 estimates?

FFT benchmarks are based on how similar pupils nationally performed in the subject last year, (similar pupils are defined as similar prior attainment, gender and month of birth).

There are three options available:

  • Average – schools that made the average progress last year (FFT50 – 50th percentile progress)
  • High – schools that made greater than average progress (FFT20 – 20th percentile progress)
  • Very High – schools that made much greater than average progress (FFT5 – 5th percentile progress).

Increasing the level of challenge will increase the benchmark values. The “Your school” ranking is a good starting point for target setting discussions at school level.

Why won’t my pupils match through importing?

There could be a number of factors preventing matching. To put the matching process in context, the imported file is checked against the DfE's census return that is reflected in Aspire (this may not be the most recent) and any matching pupils are then added to the school’s records in Aspire. Factors such as incorrect UPN, Date of Birth and Gender can lead to a match not being found, therefore a user should ensure that these details exactly reflect the National Pupil Dataset. A pupil may also not have appeared in a census return for various reasons.

How are High, Middle and Lower (HML) bands calculated in FFT Aspire?

FFT’s HML bands differ to the Department for Education fixed thresholds in that FFT rank all pupils within a cohort based on the full range of available prior attainment data, (test and teacher assessment), and then break the ranks into exact thirds. This has the effect of defining a pupil’s performance relative to all pupils in the same year group; whereas the DfE method defines the general make up of a year group comparative to the other year groups based on fixed thresholds.

Where can I find guidance?

Guidance can be found in the “Help centre” in the dropdown menu under the question mark (?) icon in the top-right of the FFT Aspire site. Here, you will find a range of different written documents and video guides.

If there are any additional queries you have regarding FFT Aspire or your data, please email our support team on or call on 01446 776 262 (option 1).

Providing insightful data that supports effective target setting and self-evaluation