Teachers oppose league tables

SUFFOLK headteachers and county teaching union leaders have today hit out at school league tables describing them as 'counterproductive', 'crude' and 'misleading'.

SUFFOLK headteachers and county teaching union leaders have today hit out at school league tables describing them as 'counterproductive', 'crude' and 'misleading'.

Due to be published tomorrow, the key stage four tables include truancy levels, GCSE pass rates and the school's rank within its Local Education Authority (LEA) achieved according to its A-Level points score per candidate.

The Evening Star refuses to publish the league tables. We believe schools should be left to assess themselves.

Stowmarket High School headteacher David Oliver said he thought school league tables no longer served their purpose and should be abolished.

Chris Harrison National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) national council member for Norfolk Suffolk and Cambridgeshire said they were crude and divisive.

Ipswich association secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) Roger MacKay said the tables were the enemy of education.

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Peter Tomkins, headteacher of Orwell High School, in Felixstowe, said the tables reflect a tiny percentage of what is going on in our schools.

Tim Beech, eastern region coordinator for the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women teachers (NASUWT) said league tables lower standards and should be scrapped.

Kesgrave High School headteacher George Thomas said league tables can act as a straight jacket to good teaching, a diverse curriculum and experimentation in schools.

Mr Oliver, who has taught at Stowmarket High School for nearly ten years, said: “The comparisons that the tables encourage the public to make are not valid or useful. I do not think they should be published at all. They have served their purpose and we self evaluate now.

“We know what things are good and what things need improving and developing. Tables are counterproductive. There is too much focus on results at the expense of the wider education of the child.”

Mr MacKay said his union had long since called for the abolition of the tables.

He added: “We are totally opposed to league tables. They divide and undermine school communities.”

Should we publish league tables? Should they be abolished? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblinks www.teachers.org.uk www.naht.org.uk

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