When will we axe the school league tables?

There is no place in a 21st century education system for the publication of unintelligent, misleading and devastating school league tables, argues SecEd editor Pete Henshaw.

Once again our national newspapers were populated with details of the annual secondary school league tables this week.

The pointless practice of publishing rankings in which individual schools are pitched against one another no matter what their location or circumstance continues, despite it being of no use to school improvement, the development of teaching and learning, or anything else of any importance.

The national press delights in bringing us news about the worst-performing schools and how terrible they are while championing the best schools where every child attained the government’s benchmark of five A* to C GCSEs including English and maths.

I am not arguing that underachieving schools should be excused or that success in examinations should not be celebrated, but this unintelligent commentary on our national school system does nothing to improve school standards and is purely designed to sell newspapers to terrified middle England parents.

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