School tables give an ‘unbalanced’ picture

Installation of new High Sheriff of Rutland at Oakham Castle - certificate reciepient Richard Harman'Photo: MSMP120413-055js ENGEMN00120131204181538
Installation of new High Sheriff of Rutland at Oakham Castle - certificate reciepient Richard Harman'Photo: MSMP120413-055js ENGEMN00120131204181538
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Secondary school headteachers say the latest batch of Government league tables are confusing, unbalanced and misleading.

Many top-performing schools, including some in Rutland, were given scores of zero per cent of pupils getting five or more A* to C GCSE grades including English and Maths this year.

The reason for the anomaly was the Government’s decision not to include international GCSE results in the statistics for the next two years. Many schools now offer IGCSEs instead of GCSEs because they view the exam as more consistent.

Both Uppingham School and Oakham School in Rutland were given zero per cent scores. Uppingham’s headmaster Richard Harman is also chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, which represents about 270 independent schools.

He said the tables had become a “nonsense”, adding: “Several of the UK’s most highly performing independent schools and others offering this excellent qualification will now appear to be bottom of the class in the Government’s rankings.

“This obviously absurd situation creates further confusion for parents as they cannot compare schools’ performance accurately and transparently.”

Uppingham Community College was ranked the second best secondary in Rutland in this year’s tables. Principal Jan Turner said: “The changes that were made to many courses part way through the delivery in 2014 mean the league tables give a very unbalanced portrayal of actual student achievement.

“Parents will continue to make up their minds about whether a particular school is right for their child and will not be influenced solely by league tables that do not give a full picture of the school as a whole.”