Gove to overhaul GCSE league tables to stop schools ‘gaming’ the system

School league tables are to be overhauled amid fears that bright and struggling pupils are being sidelined. This is from the Times

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, wants to stop schools from improving their ranking by simply maximising the number of students achieving five GCSEs with a C grade or above.

…ministers are worried that schools “game” the system by focusing their efforts on pupils on the borderline between a C and a D, while giving less attention to pupils who are on course to obtain a C or better. They also fear that pupils who appear to have little chance of achieving a C grade are being abandoned.

Some schools have been accused of entering their students in subjects deemed to be “soft” in the hope that they would achieve more C grades.

In reforms agreed by Downing Street, schools will now be judged by the performance of their pupils in eight subjects. At least five of those will have to be from a list of nine core subjects — English, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, history, geography and a language.

To ensure brighter and struggling pupils are pushed to do as well as they can, individual grades will be given points, rather than simply judging schools on their number of A* to C grades. English and maths will attract double points to boost literacy and numeracy levels…

Teaching unions have welcomed the move away from the “crude” concentration on obtaining a C grade. However, they warn that it must not be replaced by other similar measures…

More at:  Gove to overhaul GCSE league tables to stop schools ‘gaming’ the system (subscription required)

The current league table system is often held up as the root of many issues in the school system – what impact do you think these changes, if confirmed, will have? Please let us know in the comments or on twitter… 

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Categories: Policy and Secondary.


  1. eyebeams

    chrismcd53 digitaldaisies SchoolsImprove They may do so but any poll of the public usually proves to be the reverse of that statement

  2. edujdw

    SchoolsImprove so goodbye combined science. He’s always wanted to split the sciences this will have massive implications for staffing.

  3. mragiles

    SchoolsImprove But once again Music and Performing Arts have been omitted. Gove has not a bone of culture in his body. #roundedindividual

  4. CarolElizabeth

    Easy solution – get rid of league tables! You would think he had more important things to do than waste valuable time on this. The focus should be on the individual child’s needs!

  5. SarahCTE

    mragiles SchoolsImprove Is it clear that they have been omitted? I can only find e.g.s of “high value subjects”, not a comprehensive list.

  6. HempsallHistory

    SchoolsImprove It isn’t perfect & the accusations of ‘gaming’ are a cheap shot. However, anything is better than the focus on C/D boundary!

  7. ElzRobot

    mragiles SchoolsImprove all Gove’s interested in is producing work-horses for the future – uncultured robots….

  8. MarkChater1

    RowenaSelwood SchoolsImprove The electoral cycle will stop him. He’s running out of time, his hyperactivity is just posturing #rethinkre

  9. MattBryanscoob

    SchoolsImprove I will continue to advise students to study the subjects they will succeed in,will engage their minds+ prepare them for work

  10. GrahamBett

    .SchoolsImprove Gove is pushing at an open door on this one, so could he, just once, refrain from being insulting & rude to the profession?

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