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League table shake-up may put 'good' schools in danger zone

Schools need to brace themselves for accountability reforms that could turn league tables upside down, an expert analysis obtained by TES reveals.

New official “floor” targets are on course to raise the number of secondaries at risk of government intervention and possible closure by nearly three-quarters.

The new regime could also place scores of previously safe schools into the danger zone, a study using the latest available GCSE results data suggests.

But the pressure would lift for a similarly large number of secondaries that would have their efforts in improving the progress of lower-attaining pupils recognised, as they would be raised above the new floor standard.

The analysis of the impact of the Progress 8 accountability measure being introduced in 2016 has been carried out by the Fischer Family Trust (FFT), an independent charity that provides school data analysis to the government.

Mike Treadaway, research director for the FFT, said the work showed that Progress 8 would mean “substantial changes” for schools.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT headteachers' union, said: “A lot of schools are going to find that some of their old assumptions about what worked and what propelled them up the league tables are going to change quite dramatically.” 

Read the FFT report here.

Read the full article in the 10 October edition of TES on your tablet or phone or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents.

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