What the three main parties say about league tables

14th March 1997 at 00:00
What the three main parties say about league tables: David Blunkett, Labour education spokesman: "Labour will continue to publish these exam results. But it is a mark of a Government which has completely lost touch with the needs of parents that it waits until March to publish information about primary school tests from last year. It is very odd indeed that they don't know that most parents pick their primary school before Christmas and are now into the appeals process."

He said Labour would make education authorities publish their local details in November, including value-added measures of how schools had developed pupils' performance.

Don Foster, Liberal Democrat education spokesman: "There is more to a good school than exam and test results. Measurement alone will not improve the quality of work done in our schools. What is the use of setting the height of the hurdle when there is no help to get over it? The current school league tables are fundamentally flawed - as recent research has shown - and should be abolished, until and unless measures of "added value" are introduced.

"Surely the costs of the tests and the publishing of the tables would be better spent on practical measures to raise achievement."

Education Secretary Gillian Shephard: "(This) will shine a bright light into every classroom in the land.

"The remarkable success of five years of secondary school performance tables has confirmed what we always knew to be true - the publication of tables drives up standards. They give parents clear information about schools which are doing well and those which are doing badly. They make schools and local authorities accountable for what they are doing. Primary tables will do the same.

"The publication of these tables marks another step in the information revolution."

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