League table errors have consequences

7th April 1995 at 01:00
Our quest for truth and accuracy is faltering. An appalling error by an A-level exam board (apology received) deprived six of our history students of their correct grade last summer. Notwithstanding the serious consequences this had for their UCAS applications (two failed to achieve the places to which their revised grade entitled them), the full achievements of our students were not accurately reflected in the school performance tables.

An approach to the Department for Education was rebutted with a "tough luck" response. Booklets were already at the printers, "can't do anything now". I can just about accept that, so what about an erratum note to insert in the booklets (I recall receiving similar in 1993)? "Definitely not," said the DFE, whose letter in response was staggering in its implications. First, it complained about the impossibility of having to correct all the other errors from all the other schools (What errors? How many other schools?). Second, it invited me to publish the correct figures.

Sixth-form recruitment is a little sensitive in this area, and the heat which fuels local debate (thus influencing "customer choice") is stoked up by "league tables" (in this case, points score per student). If we must have these crude indicators, better that they contain accurate information. What response might I get to a school-produced circular which says: "Well, really the official DFE performance tables are wrong, we aren't worse than the two local colleges, we are actually a lot better than one and just about equal with the other. " Well I would say that, wouldn't I?

B CONCHIE

Headteacher

Honley High School

Honley

Huddersfield

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