League tables attract more criticism

A TOP teaching official in Suffolk today hit out at school league tables just days after dozens of schools in Suffolk discovered their rankings.Martin Goold, county secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), believes the tables do not accurately reflect a school's performance and put more importance on tests than pupils.

A TOP teaching official in Suffolk today hit out at school league tables just days after dozens of schools in Suffolk discovered their rankings.

Martin Goold, county secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), believes the tables do not accurately reflect a school's performance and put more importance on tests than pupils.

And The Evening Star agrees, which is why we do not publish school league tables.

Mr Goold said: “The NUT believes that tables do not give an accurate picture of what is happening in schools, and like all statistics they can be misused.


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“And while a school may be working very hard for children from deprived backgrounds it is demoralising to be at the bottom of the table just because you're starting from a lower educational base.

“The tables tend simply to reflect the income of the parents and so are not helpful at all.

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“They make a mockery of all these suggestions that if you have a school in a deprived area you can still expect children to get three As at A-level.”

But a spokeswoman for the Department for Education and Skills said: “While we do not say the league tables show the full picture for any school, they do provide an objective benchmark.

“And they are seen as a valuable tool by parents assessing which school would be best for their children.”

The league table results are based on the Key Stage Two tests taken by 11-year-olds in primary, junior and middle schools across the county. In these tests youngsters are judged on their science, English and maths skills.

This year the tables showed that in Suffolk only 74per cent of pupils met the expected standard in maths, below the national average of 76pc.

In science 86pc of 11-year-olds hit the required standard, 1pc below the national average. And in English the county's students equalled the national average with a 79pc success rate.

WEBLINKS

www.suffolknut.org.uk

www.dfes.gov.uk

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