League table system criticised in report
May 30 2008
Teachers, parents and pupils should not rely on league tables to assess the quality of a school, according to new research.
Research published in the Royal Statistical Society magazine, Significance, found that the 'value added' scores now popular on the tables often had little correlation with GCSE averages.
The lead author of the study, Professor Harvey Goldstein of the University of Bristol, argued that the use of league tables to monitor the progress of schools "rests on shaky scientific foundations".
He criticised what the research found was a confusing conflict between results and the value added score and noted: "By publishing both sets of data, schools can pick and choose which version they use and parents need to be aware of what they are looking at."
The National Union of Teachers last month called league tables "immensely unfair" and called on the government to commission an independent review of the system.
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