A-levels fail the voters of Moray

8th August 1997 at 01:00
Gordonstoun, the independent school graced by the Royal Family, has inadvertently dumped Moray at the bottom of a Scottish examination league table.

The SNP-run council is now demanding a public apology from Brian Wilson, the Education Minister, after Government statisticians included Gordonstoun, where 85 per cent of pupils had no Standard grade or Higher passes because they do GCSEs and A-levels. As a result 11 per cent of Moray pupils were said to have no SCE passes. Only Glasgow had a worse score, with 16.6 per cent.

Margo Howe, the council's education convener, said this week that Scottish Office officials had misread the statistics and should not have included Gordonstoun in the official tally. The figures were published last week in a statistical bulletin on school-leavers' qualifications over a 10-year period.

A Government spokesman said the survey had always included independent schools. The difficulty was that Gordonstoun had previously been included in figures for the former Grampian Region. "That is why its effect is more obvious," he said.

Mrs Howe said that without the Gordonstoun figures Moray's percentage of leavers with no qualifications was 3.9 per cent, one of the better scores in Scotland. "It is very difficult for us to get back the credibility we have lost over this, which has caused quite a stushie here. The statistics were so much out of kilter with all that our education department was saying."

She insists the scale of the inaccuracy demands "an immediate and very public apology and correction". Moray schools were "needlessly and misleadingly cast in a bad light".

Mrs Howe told Mr Wilson: "It is accepted good practice for statisticians to double-check any aberrant figures. Such good professional practice would have resulted in contact with my department and the figures could have been amended appropriately.

"Additionally, it seems to be a product of a Thatcherite obsession in the civil service with league tables which results in such information being faxed to the press before any information is provided to education authorities. "

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now