The Telegraph is reporting that Wellington College will no longer participate in the tables “to help teachers and pupils concentrate on learning rather than competing for higher places in the rankings”.
Julian Thomas, who took over as the school’s headmaster in September, will tell parents this week that the school is withdrawing from league tables. Peter Green, headmaster at Rugby school, also said he would consider exiting the league tables, as he did in his previous school, Ardingly College.
Many private schools favour International GCSEs instead of the standard GCSEs taken in state schools. However, they are not recognised by the government for the purposes of rankings, meaning schools appear at the bottom of the tables, despite receiving good results.
Mr Thomas is also concerned that the focus on league tables can distort teaching in some schools by encouraging “teaching to the test”.
“Increasingly the league tables have been irrelevant as they attempt to compare different qualifications. Consider the post 16 qualifications,” he said. “Students take A Level, IB and Pre-U.
“In an attempt to make comparisons, league tables have created artificial tariffs and equivalences that are simply not valid…”
“All of which makes the school league table – at least in its current form – much worse than an unnecessary distraction but, in fact, a key driver for poor educational practice…”
See the article from Julian Thomas from the Telegraph at: ‘Why Wellington will no longer feature in league tables’
Independent schools, in particular, where they take a high number of IGCSEs have their own reasons for pulling out of league tables, but what about the broader criticisms expressed here and the desire – expanded upon in the full article – for a different approach?
Please tell us what system you think would work for the various audiences and stakeholder in the comments below or via Twitter…
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