Richard Garner: 'Every parent has the right to find out information about any school'
Wednesday 15 December 2010
One thing has to be said about this year's primary school performance tables. It would be a Government health warning (except the Government is not likely to want to draw attention to it in this way).
It is this: They cannot be used to compile an accurate league table of how primary schools in England have fared in English and maths tests for 11-year-olds last summer.
I know politically and morally many involved in the education service think that is true every year but this year it is especially so as 4,000 schools are missing due to the fact that two teachers' organisations – the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and National Union of Teachers (NUT) boycotted them this year.
As such, they can only be read as what they are: a table giving information on the individual performance of all the schools whose results are included in it.
Many people would like that to be the case every year – and go further by abolishing the tables altogether, just giving parents the right to see the results of any school they are interested in sending their children to.
Unfortunately, that is unlikely to be the case. There is a review of the tests being conducted but the mantra from Education Secretary Michael Gove has always been that both the tests and the tables are here to stay. He would, however, like to see more information given in the tables, so parents can get a more rounded picture of schools they are interested.
The results of the review, though, will not be able to be put in place for next year's tests and the ensuing tables. And both the NAHT and NUT are holding off on their boycott next year – one of the pre-requesites demanded by Michael Gove before they were allowed to play their full part in the review.
The review, though, will publish its findings before the tests are taken next year – giving us a glimpse of what is to come before we revert to league tables as normal, possibly for just one year, next December.
Personally I would like to see the tests continue but – instead of this mass bureaucratic exercise of publishing performance tables – go along with the idea that every parent has the right to find out information about any school they are interested in.
Jeremy Paxman reveals he has heard senior Tories calling activists 'swivel-eyed loons'
Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
Strewth mate. Aussies wave goodbye to Britain as it becomes too pricey to stay
X marks the spot: The find that could rewrite Australian history
'There are empty spaces where there used to be living rooms, bedrooms, classrooms': President Barack Obama says America is praying for Oklahoma in wake of tornado that claimed 24 lives
- 1 'He was lucky he didn't die' - George Michael fell out of speeding car onto M1 motorway, according to eye witness
- 2 Austerity has hardened the nation's heart
- 3 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 4 Why Arsène Wenger must spend to put icing on the cake and buy likes of Stevan Jovetic for Arsenal
- 5 'It was just like the movie Twister': Man survives Oklahoma tornado by taking refuge in horse stall
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: We are currently recruiting newly qu...
£53000 - £58000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: Assistant Headteacher - S...
£22500 - £50000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: This Devon School has ...
£37,382-£44,607: UCL Qatar: The appointment is full-time on UCL Grade 8. The s...