Job candidates should not rely on league tables

17th May 1996 at 01:00
It is at this time of year that thousands of student teachers scan The TES in search of their first post - and that educationists, politicians and the public put league tables on the back burner until there are fresh statistics to analyse.

As a student teacher, I have recently noticed the league tables being brandished, highlighted and studied with vigour in the refectory and union bars. I am not averse to healthy discussion and sensible analysis. However, league tables appear to have become alternative prospectuses. All too frequently a school's ranking dictates whether student teachers reply to advertisements. As a result many candidates are applying only to the most academic schools which are highly placed in the tables, thus excluding new blood and talent from the institutions that may need them most.

It is well recognised that league tables in their current crude form are not good predictors of how a school improves an individual pupil, and that the value-added system is a more useful guide to performance in this respect. It is therefore particularly worrying that the very people who should be aware of this persist in using league tables in this way. Since they are applying for only highly-placed schools, questions must also arise about their motives and integrity.


Department of education

University of Keele, Staffordshire

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


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