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Is a new league table ‘crude’ or long overdue?

Intriguing analysis compares free school meal numbers and Higher achievement, but fellow researchers question its ‘meaningless’ use of data, finds Emma Seith

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Headteachers across Scotland may have taken a sharp intake of breath recently, when researchers published a new “league table” of secondary schools.

The analysis of official figures, in the form of an interactive scatter graph, ranks all of Scotland’s schools according to the proportion of pupils on free school meals against the percentage of students overall achieving a set number of Highers.

The result is revealing – and proves to be very controversial – stuff.

We want to identify the schools that are bucking the trend, that don’t go with the norm, that have deprivation but are doing well ...

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