Pupil rankings only flatter the elite

13th July 2012 at 01:00

Recent news that Mr Gove is proposing a "league table for pupils" ("'Branded for life': plans for national rankings trigger fears for pupils", TES, 6 July) encapsulates perfectly everything that is wrong about Conservative thinking on education. It is a policy that serves the needs of an elite, select few at the expense of the vast majority. If 200,000 pupils are listed in order of their exam results, it would be very pleasing to hear you were in, say, the top 200 or even the top 500. However, 199,500 pupils will not be in the top 500. What do I say to a pupil in my (non-selective) school who comes in at position 176,948? "Good try, Wayne - if you work really hard you could get into the top 175,000 next year!" Demotivating and humiliating.

Ben Warren

Headteacher, Summerhill School, Dudley, West Midlands.

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