League tables ‘stigmatise schools and demoralise communities’

Headteachers will spend the next year examining how school accountability could be reformed to put collaboration and partnership at the fore. Tes reports

Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), warned today that the current system “stigmatises schools” making it harder to recruit teachers and leaders and demoralises families and communities.”

Speaking at the union’s annual conference in Birmingham he asked: “How much value is there in a system which penalises schools with the most vulnerable learners?”

Mr Barton said ASCL wanted to create an accountability system that encourages collaboration.

He also criticised the current exam system which he said rubbed pupils nose in disappointment and denied a third of pupils the “dignity of a qualification.”

He said: “We’re exploring a new approach to performance tables. How much value is there in a system in which some schools – those in the most disadvantaged areas – are always most likely to fare the worst?”

Mr Barton added: “While it may be true that Progress 8 is the best accountability measure we’ve had – or at least the least bad one – we want to explore what ‘inclusive accountability’ might look like.

“That is a system which is not built on the demeaning foundations that for one institution to do better another has to do worse, where instead there’s recognition of those leaders who look beyond the territory of their own school gates and work to ensure the quality provision for our most vulnerable young people, those too easily marginalised, excluded or off-rolled.”

Read more League tables ‘stigmatise schools and demoralise communities’

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