Consultation follows criticism over merits of government-produced tables out today
Parents across the country are being asked to decide what information is most important to them in choosing a secondary school for their child and the most popular options will then be added to new school performance tables launched last year.
The consultation will result in the expansion of www.schoolperformancetables.org.uk which already includes the full GCSE data of over 750 secondary schools in the country.
The initiative, launched last August by ASCL, NAHT, the PiXL Club and United Learning is proving extremely popular with schools across the country using it as a way, independent of government, of allowing parents to see how they are performing. Schools upload the exam results that pupils actually receive rather than the first entry results which the DfE publish today. In future, the league tables will also continue to include iGCSE figures which the DfE tables are set to drop.
Commenting on the success of the performance tables to date, Russell Hobby, General Secretary of the NAHT said:
‘After this year's volatility in results, the need for stable, honest measures of school performance has never been more clear. The alternative performance tables show a commitment from schools to transparency and accountability, but also enable them to demonstrate their performance whatever the sudden shifts of government policy.’
The launch of the formal consultation follows conversations with parents, teachers, a Mumsnet thread and feedback from head teachers on what families look for in deciding a school.
Launching the consultation, Jon Coles, Chief Executive of United Learning said:
‘We know that what parents look for in choosing a school is far more than academic performance. By expanding what these tables show – whether in terms of extra-curricular activities, opportunities for pupils, attendance and university entrances – we will be able to provide parents with a free of charge, one-stop shop for accessing the information they need across their choice of local schools.’
Brian Lightman, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders said:
‘We want parents to have as much information as possible, and it needs to be presented in a way that is genuinely useful and gives a full picture of the quality of education and the outcomes that young people achieve. The alternative tables are about moving ownership of data away from government and focussing on what schools and parents think is important.’
Will Smith of the PiXL Club said:
‘Schools have long been looking for a comparative means of letting parents see a full range of information, not just what the government deems important. This consultation will give us a fuller understanding of exactly what parents want and then we will find the means to provide this information through the website in an easily accessible way.’
Parents looking to compare the GCSE performance of local schools can access and compare the 2014 data from those schools who have already signed up to the site at www.schoolperformancetables.org.uk.
Parents, teachers and governors can take part in the consultation via the website with the results due to be announced next month and new areas of interest to be added thereafter.