GCSE league tables are ‘bewildering’

EXAMS Headteachers say that new GCSE statistics are confusing rather than helpful
EXAMS Headteachers say that new GCSE statistics are confusing rather than helpful
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HEADTEACHERS have rejected claims by the government that a new league table revealing the full facts of every single GCSE taken will give parents more choice.

Yesterday the Department for Education released details of schools’ individual GCSE results for the first time.

Dozens of tables of subjects taken – and the grades pupils achieved – are now available for parents to browse through online.

However, headteachers across Hampshire and Portsmouth have expressed concerns about the overwhelming amount of information which they say can be misleading and unhelpful.

Steve Labedz, head of Admiral Lord Nelson School in Copnor, said: ‘The word bewildering sums it up best.

‘The whole idea of league tables is to make them simple, accessible and meaningful to parents, which this one clearly is not.

‘This release shows the government’s lack of clarity on what information it wants to give.’

Phil Munday, of Henry Cort Community College in Fareham, added: ‘The statistics are all well and good to refer to but parents need guidelines to interpret what’s important.

‘These figures could be extremely misleading, especially when you consider some GCSE-equivalent qualifications that are not included, like our English modules.’

Mike Smith, head of City of Portsmouth Boys, said the government’s tables did not give the whole picture.

He says ICT is one of the most popular subjects at his school, with 65 per cent of pupils last year sitting a diploma in the subject.

But as it is not a GCSE it does not show up on the school exam table.

Mr Smith said: ‘I’m not too worried about these tables because our research shows parents value other things like reputation and where their children’s friends go to above league tables.

‘But it is a strange table that doesn’t consider our ICT diploma in digital application, which is extremely rigorous and successful, to be in the league of GCSEs.’