Cambridge Assessment wants league tables taken out of ministers’ hands

The TES is reporting that an exam board head has suggested school league tables should be taken out of the control of government and handed over to an independent body…

Simon Lebus, chief executive of Cambridge Assessment, said the problem with the current system was that the composition of tables reflected policy changes by different governments.

“As a result, what is included or excluded from league tables can vary considerably over time, making them, for all practical purposes, ineffective instruments for the objective tracking of changes in educational standards,” he said.

One of the exam boards Mr Lebus’ organisation runs – Cambridge International Examinations – has been hit by the government’s latest league-table decision, which will mean its flagship qualification the IGCSE disappears from school rankings as reformed GCSEs are introduced…

In an article published online by TES today, he said the lack of “any reliable measure of improvements in educational achievement” was a “real handicap” in determining which policies are most effective…

“Is it not time that the compilation and publication of league tables, with all the judgements and decisions that are involved, was also handed over to an independent body?”…

More at: Cambridge Assessment wants league tables taken out of ministers’ hands


Meaningful suggestion? Would it be any better? Or is Mr Lebus just sore about the IGCSE issue? Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove If people insist on league tables existing (why?!) then they really should be independent of govt whims & tinkering

  2. CurlyMan66

    MaryMyatt SchoolsImprove there’s very little in eduction that wouldn’t benefit from bring removed from political control

  3. HughdjNicklin

    SchoolsImprove Vain hope in pre-election period, when politicians claim control of & expertise in all aspects of ‘education’.

  4. 11PlusMocks

    SchoolsImprove I can see the advantages of this. Independent assessment allows consistency and more reliable data. #independentdata

  5. Janet2

    Why not a question asking whether league tables should be abolished altogether?  Schools could still publish their results on their websites but the invidious comparison based solely on results in Gov’t approved exams would cease.

  6. This is part of a wider question:  The whole of education policy implementation needs to be in the hands of an independent, evidence-based body (on the lines of the Office for Budget Responsibility.
    Teachers should be campaigning for this, not on the individual consequences of government/ministers actions/whims.

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