The Association of Colleges has made a formal complaint to ministers accusing them of giving "misleading" league-table information to parents.
It says colleges lose out in the tables because many of students mix A-levels and vocational courses. Qualifications such as national vocational qualifications do not contribute to league-table points, and so colleges'
performance is not accurately reflected.
Maggie Scott, the AoC's director of learning and quality, said: "A wide variety of vocational education is simply disregarded in the tables. We are extremely concerned that parents and young people are being badly misled by these tables.
"Once again tables effectively punish colleges for providing a wide range of choices to a very wide range of young people - and continue to confuse students and parents about their best options."
The AoC wants the Department for Education and Skills to speed up reforms of the tables.