Uneven yield from crop of raw results

16th February 1996 at 00:00
As a headteacher of a primary school, I would be very much in favour of the publication of tables showing the performance of schools, but only if the results are based on accurate evaluation of the comparative performance of the school rather than the performance of the children.

To have a fair comparison of school performance it is essential to measure how much each school "gives" to children rather than simply showing the crude end results. To do this, measures of standards on entering and leaving school would be equally essential, as would be a measure of a child's innate ability and the quality of the educational environment of the home and community.

Publication of raw results at seven, 11 and 14 gives no true measure of what a school has contributed to children's education. For example, a secondary school admitting children at 11-plus, of whom 90 per cent are "good" achievers, would rightly be expected to achieve at least 90 per cent "good results" at GCSE.

We need to find a system measuring the true value of what a school "gives" to its children.

Given a level playing field, the vast majority of schools will strive to perform and compete. The uneven playing field of raw results that we have at present may give comfort to some schools, but many, many more will feel demoralised by the unfairness of the comparisons.

We need to lift morale and lift teaching standards, not to denigrate on false evidence.

LAURIE BROWN Headteacher St Paul's Church-in-Wales primary school Oakley Place Grangetown, Cardiff

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