NUT: League tables are “a distraction from the hard work that goes on in schools”

Commenting on today’s secondary school performance league tables, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“League tables are a complete distraction from the hard work that goes on in schools. Parents wisely draw on their own experience and those of others in their neighbourhood to judge schools by a range of factors that are not reflected in raw examination results.

“It is reducing the levels of child poverty and ensuring that schools and local authorities have the resources and budgets to try and minimise such disadvantage that will make the difference in some schools. Factors such as hunger, lack of heating, space to study in, access to computers or books inevitably impact on pupils’ ability to concentrate or keep up in the classroom.  The Department for Education should be focusing its attention on addressing these issues instead of its pointless obsession with turning all schools into academies or free schools.

“Michael Gove will be facing a dilemma as to how he addresses the number of academies that are failing his imposed floor targets. Local authorities no longer have the right to step in to address issues in academies such as falling standards. This is now the responsibility of the Secretary of State who, it would appear, is going to be kept quite busy. As the Academies Commission recently noted in its far-reaching report, academies “are not a panacea” and do not in themselves improve educational standards.”

END                                       pr10-2013
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