Scottish schools to be able to compare performance to improve standards

Teachers in Scotland will be able to compare their school’s performance with others under plans to improve standards in deprived areas. However, the data will not be available to parents, as the Scottish government opposes league tables. This is from the Times…

Michael Russell, the Education Secretary, made the announcement during a speech at the University of Glasgow last night.

He said that schools with similar backgrounds but different results would be partnered to help them to learn from one another.

The scheme, to be called Improvement Partnership Programme, is an attempt to bridge the pronounced achievement gap between schools.

It signals that the Education Secretary is moving to address the problem of Scotland’s decline when measured against other countries. A recent cross-party commission, chaired by the educationalist Keir Bloomer, warned that the country was falling behind and action was required urgently.

However, Mr Russell’s move to allow local authorities, secondary schools and teachers to compare how pupils are doing may prove controversial. Under the proposals, there will be an “ideal school” benchmark that schools can measure themselves against. It will be based on the best schools with the same demographic mix of pupils.

Last night, a leading trade unionist dismissed the partnership plans as “social engineering”.

More at:  Schools can compare notes to improve standards (subscription required)

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