Who's to judge value of tables?

24th November 2000 at 00:00
VALUE added. Do we want it? For school management purposes, most emphatically yes. For performance tables, I am not so sure. What is more, I am not convinced that the two uses are compatible.

My school has been at the forefront of value-added developments since the late 1980s. Even so, without a full explanation, I struggle to understand what the results of the Department for Education and Employment pilot really mean.

If that is the case, how will the general public understand the results if, for example, they have no real grasp of "significance"? How will we stop local newspapers publishing league tables based on statistically insignificant figures? The one thing that can be said for raw results is that they relate directly to actual grades. <> Schools will soon learn how to manipulate value-added to their advantage. It has been happening for some time. Many schools have been concentrating on CD borderline pupils for some time.

Some schools enter pupils for as many subjects as possible to enhance their points score. Others enter large numbers of pupils for GNVQ intermediate IT which equates to four GCSEs. Who can blame them when market pressures are what they are?

If schools start manoeuvring the data to address the market, the data becomes corrupted and value-added less reliable. Of course, it is the existence of the tables that is the real issue. Surely we are accountable enough without them?

Geoff Cooper

Weston Road high school

Blackheath Lane, Stafford


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now