GCSE league table chaos

The Mirror, 30/01/15, they ranked among 330 “under-performing” secondaries after tougher International GCSEs taken by the fee-paying students were excluded this year

Eton and Harrow have plunged to the bottom of the class along with hundreds of state secondaries amid league table chaos blamed on meddling Tories.

Disadvantaged pupils have been worst affected by constant changes to the school rating system by the Tory-led coalition, teachers warned.

But even the country’s poshest schools yesterday ranked among 330 “under-performing” secondaries – after tougher International GCSEs taken by the fee-paying students were excluded from the tables this year.

Schools failing to get 40% of pupils passing five GCSEs including English and maths were given the low rating. Re-sits and some vocational qualifications were also banned from the tables.

Russell Hobby of the National Association of Head Teachers said: “These adverse statistics are due to the Government’s constant changes to leagues tables and provide no indication of the actual performance of schools.

“Schools have been tripped up by last-minute changes, disproportionately affecting schools working with the most disadvantaged students.”

Teaching union NASUWT said the continual upheaval burdened schools.

Chief Chris Keates said: “It’s unacceptable that schools, teachers, parents and children are subjected to this negative annual ritual.”

Labour said the chaos was brewing disaster. Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt said: “It’s taking the country backwards and threatening standards.”

Richard Harman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, representing private schools, said the IGCSE ban made a “nonsense” of the tables.

You can watch an interview with him in the video here.

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