R48 - Ministerial Report from the Secretary of State for Education (League Tables) Watch

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CatusStarbright
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R48, Ministerial Report from the Secretary of State for Education





Her Majesty's Government will no longer be publishing, or endorsing the publishing of online league tables to rank schools, colleges and multi academy trusts.

The government believes that there is no conclusive methodology to establish whether one school is objectively better than another, and recognises that different schools are suited to different children. This government encourages parents and prospective children to visit primary and secondary schools to help parents to decide which may be best for their children.

The government does not subscribe to the view that the selection of a primary or secondary school ought to be done using something as reductionist as data-based ranking.

Parents, journalists and other non-governmental organisations will have the right to access all of the data used to compile league tables, and will continue to have access to inspection reports of schools. All public data used in calculating league tables for schools and colleges will be made available on the government website.

Should they wish, parents, journalists and other organisations may use this data to produce their own ranking of institutions. These will not be endorsed by this government or any local authority.

The July 2019 Statement of Intent on School and College league tables is hereby repealed.

I commend this statement to the house.
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Rakas21
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Mr Speaker, i know of no words to describe my bemusement at this statement.
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ns_2
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Mr Speaker, i know of no words to describe my bemusement at this statement.
I have to agree with my Rt. Hon. Friend here...
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LiberOfLondon
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So people should be given a bad education because the Government doesn't see fit to educate them properly.

HELL NAY.
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barnetlad
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The members of the House who have responded to the statement seem to think that a good education can only be provided by publishing league tables. Not every part of a good education can be measured or reduced simply to a number- how do you measure self-confidence and the absence of mental ill health, for example. Or the benefits of individual or team sport, or sparking what becomes a lifelong interest (say in theatre or some other aspect of the arts?).

The other main thing is that given the influence of the early years in a person's life chances, not everyone starts at the same place at aged 7 or 11.
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04MR17
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(Original post by LiberOfLondon)
So people should be given a bad education because the Government doesn't see fit to educate them properly.

HELL NAY.
This does not change the education system, just the government website. I am confused as to why you oppose this.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Mr Speaker, i know of no words to describe my bemusement at this statement.
(Original post by ns_2)
I have to agree with my Rt. Hon. Friend here...
This stops the publication of official league tables of schools, as they are misleading.

Feel free to ask further questions if you don't understand.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by 04MR17)
This does not change the education system, just the government website. I am confused as to why you oppose this.
Mr Speaker, it mainly comes to down the logic and reasoning of the proposal (which i actually consider beneficial - transparency and competition is generally a positive).

First you assert that no conclusive methodology exists to compare one school to another however the entire point of league tables is to establish an empirical comparitor.

Second, the government makes a grand assertion that parents should not consider data based ranking in their selection which is entirely ludicrous as a notion. While it should not be the sole factor, it is difficult to argue that a school with substantially better outcomes should not be the school you send your children to.

Generally speaking this statement is ill conceived, not backed up by any real argument (links?) and then includes a bunch of whaffle. That the Prime Minister signed off on this statement is alarming.
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CatusStarbright
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Comments as an MP

I would like to ask the House how their parents chose their school(s) for them. Mine didn't even look at league tables because everyone in my local area knows which is the best school (or which are the better schools generally) due to reputation. We also visited my future secondary school together and the place seemed nice (as we already knew) so that is where I went.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
Comments as an MP

I would like to ask the House how their parents chose their school(s) for them. Mine didn't even look at league tables because everyone in my local area knows which is the best school (or which are the better schools generally) due to reputation. We also visited my future secondary school together and the place seemed nice (as we already knew) so that is where I went.
I think it was a choice of Spen Valley vs Whitcliffe from Gomersal Middle, Whitcliffe was the much better school.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Mr Speaker, it mainly comes to down the logic and reasoning of the proposal (which i actually consider beneficial - transparency and competition is generally a positive).

First you assert that no conclusive methodology exists to compare one school to another however the entire point of league tables is to establish an empirical comparitor.

Second, the government makes a grand assertion that parents should not consider data based ranking in their selection which is entirely ludicrous as a notion. While it should not be the sole factor, it is difficult to argue that a school with substantially better outcomes should not be the school you send your children to.

Generally speaking this statement is ill conceived, not backed up by any real argument (links?) and then includes a bunch of whaffle. That the Prime Minister signed off on this statement is alarming.
Firstly you're correct that the government believes no conclusive methodology exists to compare schools, and so league tables don't have a point.

Second, I agree that data should not be the only factor in decisions, and the raw data is available for the parents interested. I dispute the notion that "substantially better outcomes" are not specific to every child; I would instead argue that a good outcome for one child may be a bad outcome for another.
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Aph
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Is this saying that all the data will still be provided but that the government won’t weight it all to make a ranking?
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04MR17
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(Original post by Aph)
Is this saying that all the data will still be provided but that the government won’t weight it all to make a ranking?
Yes.
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Rakas21)
I think it was a choice of Spen Valley vs Whitcliffe from Gomersal Middle, Whitcliffe was the much better school.
And how was this conclusion reached? Were any league tables involved?
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Rakas21
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
And how was this conclusion reached? Were any league tables involved?
I suspect not, more just locally accepted knowledge. That’s not to say that league tables don’t provide important knowledge though. We are being beaten by the Orient precisely because of the notions of people like the Education Secretary.
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The Mogg
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This may be me not reading into this properly (if it is, please feel free to correct me), but I don't see any alarm bells ringing. The information and statistics are still there and available for public consumption in inspection reports and the government website, it's just that they won't be ranked by the Government. As far as I can see, all this report seeks to do is take the job of ranking the data away from the Government, which is a rather small issue to make a whole report on if you ask me.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Rakas21)
I suspect not, more just locally accepted knowledge. That’s not to say that league tables don’t provide important knowledge though. We are being beaten by the Orient precisely because of the notions of people like the Education Secretary.
The data provides important knowledge, and that data is still available. I'm confused as to why you feel the way it is presented affects international comparisons.
Last edited by 04MR17; 3 months ago
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Baron of Sealand
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Parents who believe in things beyond what's measured in the methodology will choose without using the table. But it should still be available to those who focus on more conventional things.
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04MR17
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(Original post by The Mogg)
This may be me not reading into this properly (if it is, please feel free to correct me), but I don't see any alarm bells ringing. The information and statistics are still there and available for public consumption in inspection reports and the government website, it's just that they won't be ranked by the Government. As far as I can see, all this report seeks to do is take the job of ranking the data away from the Government, which is a rather small issue to make a whole report on if you ask me.
Thank you for your support, this is simply preventing parents for taking ill informed decisions based on one glance at a league table. Such decisions can have harmful consequences for our young people.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by 04MR17)
The data provides important knowledge, and that data is still available. I'm confused as to why you feel the way it is presented affects international comparisons.
For the same reason you want it gone, not having the guaranteed information easily available and contextualised will impact how those less aware parents make their choice. I oppose what is a purely political judgement.
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