The TES is reporting that independent school leaders have attacked official league tables as “a nonsense” after a rule change sent their GCSE scores plummeting…
According to government data released today, the proportion of private school pupils achieving the main five A*-C GCSEs, including English and maths, nearly halved from 54.4 per cent in 2013 to 28.4 per cent this summer.
But the Department for Education (DfE) has admitted that this “large change” is mainly down to its decision to stop counting IGCSEs that have not been regulated by Ofqual in the league tables.
Independent schools have made extensive use of the qualifications and say they were not warned properly about the change.
Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council, said: “Many of the best, highest achieving schools in Britain are listed by the DfE as the worst performing.
“It is really up to the DfE to decide whether they wish to live with such nonsense.”
IGCSEs were originally introduced for the overseas market in 1988, but have also seen increasing use in England’s independent schools in more recent years.
In 2010 it was decided to bring in new versions, regulated by Ofqual and brought more into line with GCSEs, so that state schools could also use them. The government said the original unregulated IGCSE would also count in league tables – but only for two further years.
Mr Lenon said schools had been told about the change but because the email was sent during summer holidays only “about 5 per cent” of his members had seen it.
However, he said most independent schools would not be unduly worried about the league table change as they had been prepared to use IGCSEs before they first counted in performance measures…
Is Barnaby Lenon right in suggesting this change makes a mockery of league tables? And is the DfE right or wrong to have excluded IGCSEs from counting towards them? Please give us your feedback in the comments or via Twitter…
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