The Only Ones Who Should Be Named and Shamed are the Policy Makers

Nick Gibb wants to remove incentives to schools that are protecting their league table ranking at the expense of extending bright students.

Secondary schools that fail to push bright children will be named and shamed in a bid to prevent comprehensives from manipulating the league table rankings, the schools minister has said.

Nick Gibb said he wanted to remove the incentive for schools to play the system by focusing only on pupils whose grades will affect their league table ranking.

Gibb said the tables would include additional information to expose schools who fail to push bright students who were capable of performing even better if they had better teaching.

In the reformed league tables, which will be published for the first time next week, parents will be able to compare schools based on the amount of progress made by the top pupils between 11 and 16.

“The way school league tables have evolved over the past two decades can encourage a degree of ‘gaming’ by some weaker schools, desperate to keep above the standard that would trigger intervention by Ofsted or the Department for Education,” Gibb writes in Saturday’s Telelgraph.

“But the purpose of performance tables must be to incentivise schools to raise standards and to enable parents to make informed decisions when choosing a school.”

The reason why schools don’t invest more time into bright students is not because they don’t care. It is because the system was set up to force schools to protect their ranking. It’s these blasted rankings that taint education. Teaching and learning is not a game. It shouldn’t come by way of fear or shaming, but through sound methods and a positive approach,

Policy makers should be named and shamed for changing the landscape of education. No industry is under so much pressure, with so little real reward. Teaching under a cloud of negativity poorly impacts staff and students.

Perhaps there will be more attention to brighter students as a result of these measures. But in the end, nobody wins from negative tactics and a data driven school system.

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