Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have taken the decision not to publish school performance indicators. This is not the case in England. Last week saw the release of the DfE’s school league tables based on the results of Summer 2012 exams in 4,000+ state and independent secondary schools.
During the same week, the British Academy’s Policy Centre published ‘School League Tables: a short guide for head teachers and governors‘. The guide’s author, Harvey Goldstein FBA, Professor of Social Statistics at the University of Bristol, warns that school league tables seem to offer an easy way of seeing which schools are doing well compared to others but they are too simplistic a measure to adequately examine the relationship between the quality of what schools provide and the results of tests and exams.
The guide will make head teachers and school governors (and – in our view – parents, press and policy makers too) more confident in their knowledge of what school league tables can and cannot tell you. getstats encourages anyone who might benefit from the guide to take a read.
For more on measuring school performance, including a review of the available evidence to determine the benefits and the problems associated with use of school league tables, see ‘Measuring Success’, a report written by Professor Goldstein and Beth Foley and published by the BA’s Policy Centre in March 2012.
For further data presentations and visualisations around school performance, see the Guardian’s DataBlog.