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Don't worry about results, just give us your money

Heads withhold results in protest at the ‘factory farming’ of pupils - Times Online

Eton, St Paul’s and Winchester College are among dozens of independent schools boycotting league tables by refusing to release their exam results.

Their head teachers claim that the rankings penalise schools that take weaker pupils and encourage the teaching of softer subjects.

Glib comparisons using league tables are unfair, but when parents are choosing schools they want as much information as possible. It almost sounds as though Eton et al don't think the parents are clever enough to understand the system, and should just trust the school. And I worry that the failing schools in the State sector will take up the same excuse to hide their deficiencies.

Comments

The real problem, as the article points out, is that increasingly independent schools are offering qualifications such as the International GCSE and International Baccalaureate. Being more rigorous than the exams that State-educated pupils take (and thus likely to expose dumbing down), they are not counted towards a school's League Table assessment, thereby giving a distorted view of a school's relative strength.

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