Radical changes to exam league tables

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The Independent Online

A radical change of emphasis in this year's exam league tables will enable parents to compare schools online across a range of issues.

When the tables are published today, parents will be able to bring up secondary school rankings and filter them based on their performance in any subject. Separate data will show how schools spend their money, from frontline teaching staff to administrative costs.

They will also indicate whether they have more or fewer children on free school meals – traditionally an indicator of poverty – than their rivals. Under Labour, the significance of the league tables was downplayed, but Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, is encouraging parents to rank schools in a pecking order.

In a speech to a gathering of world education leaders in London yesterday, he said: "I expect that we will see new performance tables drawn up by schools themselves, by active citizens and by professional organisations which will draw attention to particular areas of strength in our school system."