League tables are not black and white

League tables are not black and white

It has been widely reported today that changes made to exams have affected pupil performance across both state and private education.

Aaron Stewart, Proprietor at Boundary Oak School comments:

Parents need to be extremely careful that they understand what criteria are being judged when senior schools are arranged into league tables, even when the table is ostensibly on something as linear as GCSE results. Nothing is black and white, best illustrated by the fact the government chose NOT to include IGCSEs in the tables, as such, where there is a lack of transparency, I would suggest that the system is open to a lot of exploitation and ambiguity.

A school like Winchester which we visited last week chooses to ditch largely GSCEs because it feels IGCSEs are more beneficial to their pupils. As a result they are represented appallingly in the GCSE league tables. It’s a disgrace. Similarly a school that chooses to “process” its pupils through a GCSE factory and offer very little outside of the one-size-fits-all curriculum, and very little extra curricular activities, is represented by the tables as being a top school.

Reference articles:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-31023685

http://www.channel4.com/news/league-tables-show-poor-performance-but-does-it-matter

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