League tables to improve transparency for parents


League tables are to utilise new measures to make the performance of schools more transparent to parents.

Parents will be able to see which schools are best for individual subjects and which have the highest rates of exclusions and absenteeism, according to the Daily Telegraph.

A coalition government source told the newspaper that this will improve transparency for parents after Labour's attempts to cover up the "shocking performance of some of our schools".

"While England's educations system slipped behind in the world the last government hid the real performance of schools," the source said.

"Their league table measures artificially rose over time thanks to schools gaming the system. We will publish as much data as possible so parents and teachers can really see what is going on in schools."

At present, schools in England are ranked on the number of pupils gaining five A*-C grades at GCSE level.

However, ministers are said to be concerned that this system does not provide parents with enough information relating to how well students perform in each subject area.

Under new plans, parents will also have the opportunity to create their own league tables and see schools ranked in "their own way".

Speaking to the Times Educational Supplement, Education Secretary Michael Gove MP said: "What I think people haven't yet grasped is that the greater degree of transparency we have created means that the league tables that are government league tables are only one accountability tool.

"It is perfectly possible for others to construct their own league tables on the basis of the information we have been publishing."

Mr Gove has said in the past that the government plans to create the educational equivalent of a 'Go Compare' website, which will lead to "tough questions" for schools that are wasting money and failing to perform well.

March 2011

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