League tables a middle-class concern

24th September 2004 at 01:00
Fewer than a third of parents look at league tables before picking their child's school.

However, The TES poll revealed that the proportion who do was almost twice as high in London as in other parts of England. The survey found that 43 per cent of those in London had consulted the exam league tables compared to 26 per cent in other areas of England.

Parents in London were also slightly more likely to say that test results had influenced their choice of school.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, middle-class parents were also more likely to pay attention to schools' test results.

Less than a quarter of working-class parents used them, compared to more than a third of parents in the middle classes.

Although parents said that inspectors' judgements were less helpful than its test results when picking a school , they were more likely to read a school's inspection report (36 per cent) than look at league tables (28 per cent).

More than half of the parents who had not bothered to read the Ofsted report on their child's school or look at its examination results still felt that they should have a greater say in the way it was managed.

"It is not clear how much effort they would be prepared to put in to influencing the running of their child's school," the researchers FDS said.

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