UK & World News

  • 13 August 2014, 8:07

Teachers To Publish Alternative League Tables

Headteachers will publish their own league tables to give parents more information about schools and to address concerns the Government's data serves "political aims rather than pupils' needs".

The rankings, which school leaders say will provide more information than Government league tables, will initially focus on secondary schools.

They will cover GCSE results, extra-curricular activities, the curriculum and other details like class sizes and subjects.

The proposals have been drawn up by two unions: the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT).

The independent school and academy group United Learning, and PiXL, which works with schools to raise standards, were also involved in the plan.

Teachers have expressed concerns about the current league tables, including a Government decision last year that only a pupil's first attempt at an exam would be counted towards a school's overall results.

Under the plans, secondary schools in England are being asked to submit their GCSE results for this summer.

The results, which are due to be released next week, will then be published on a new website later in the autumn, before the Department for Education publishes its data in January.

NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby said the Government's data often failed to address pupils' needs.

"Schools must be accountable, but the Government's performance tables have become a sledgehammer to crack the system - too often serving political aims rather than pupils' needs and driving the wrong decisions," he said.

"This initiative will, over time, give parents stable, accurate and neutral information about schools.

"It is good to see the school leaders seizing the initiative and building a connection to parents that bypasses all the politics."

Jon Coles, chief executive of United Learning, said that over time a school's performance has become less about giving parents information, and instead become a way for successive governments to influence decisions headteachers make about running schools.

"This is too crude an approach to defining a great school or encouraging improvement and at different times, it has been detrimental in different ways," he said.

"For example, promoting too much focus on the C/D borderline, especially in English and maths, or promoting choices of qualification which do not serve individual children well.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "We agree that information about school performance should be freely available to parents.

"That's why we have taken steps to make our league tables clearer and, in addition to our data, all schools must publish extensive information on their website - including pupil progress."