Where success equals failure

Controversy rages over the decision to publish 'value-added' results. Karen Thornton and Sarah Cassidy report.

A CONTROVERSIAL new performance measure is to remain in next month's secondary school league tables, despite protests from headteachers.

Unions have received a flood of complaints from schools who fear the new "value-added" measure is statistically flawed and will classify successful schools as failing.

John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, said:

"Time is very short if we are to stop the inclusion of this misleading measure. We have had many more complaints from schools who face being branded as failing - although their GCSE results are better than ever."

The performance indicator will grade schools A to E according to the change in performance between 1996's key stage 3 results (tests for 14-year-olds) and this year's GCSEs.

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