League tables branded a ‘nonsense’ by private schools

The BBC is reporting that many of England’s top private secondaries expect to be at the bottom of the school league tables following confusion over IGCSEs…

School leaders dismissed this year’s tables as a “nonsense”, with many schools “caught unawares” by a shift in which qualifications are recognised.

It centres on the phasing out of unaccredited IGCSEs from the tables.

The government said it had made important changes to a system that had rewarded the wrong outcomes.

The IGCSE is sat by candidates overseas, but has also long been favoured by many private schools and some leading state schools in England as a more rigorous assessment…

Richard Harman, chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), which represents many leading independent schools, said the decision to drop IGCSEs made a “nonsense” of the league tables.

“Several of the UK’s most highly performing independent schools and others offering this excellent qualification will now appear to be bottom of the class in the government’s rankings.

“This obviously absurd situation creates further confusion for parents as they cannot compare schools’ performance accurately and transparently.

“Many HMC schools will continue to offer the IGCSE, as experience tells us it is rigorous and offers a good basis for sixth form study.”

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College leaders, said “quite a few schools have fallen foul” of the various changes to school league tables “by continuing with exams that don’t count”.

“In spite of this, the children themselves have received a good set of qualifications,” he added.

“This calls into question the validity of the performance tables, and the government has promoted these qualifications [IGCSES] heavily in the early years of the coalition, but now they have decided that they want everyone to do the new GCSEs…

More at: League tables branded a ‘nonsense’ by private schools

 

So will these schools stick with IGCSEs and accept the impact on league table places or will they be under pressure to switch to GCSEs?

 

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Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove The schools are right; this just highlights the idiocy of MPs in discounting iGCSEs from league tables for political reasons

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove To be fair league tables including iGCSEs are nonsense too. The obsession politicians have with ranking schools is unhealthy

  3. DrDD

    The iGCSE qualification was initially conceived for overseas students so why are so many “home” centres wanting to use the qualification. Surely this is reason enough to discount it’s use in English league tables.

  4. Janet2

    League tables should be scrapped.  Absurd to rank schools on performance in Gov’t approved exams.  Expect more chaos in future years when state schools are expected to take only ‘reformed’ GCSEs.   It’s like a mad version of the Hokey Cokey – IGCSEs in, IGCSEs out…Voc exams in, voc exams out.

  5. Janet2

    League tables should be scrapped.  Absurd to rank schools on performance in Gov’t approved exams.  Expect more chaos in future years when state schools are expected to take only ‘reformed’ GCSEs.   It’s like a mad version of the Hokey Cokey – IGCSEs in, IGCSEs out…Voc exams in, voc exams out.

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