Rankings May Be Stigmatising Schools

1:24 AM


Headteachers have recently claimed that schools situated in areas identified as white working-class in the UK are presently being destroyed by the league table systems in the country. It is believed that rankings are stigmatising these secondary schools that were subjected to new criteria in terms of ranking their pupil achievement back in 2017.

New parameters were added to the league table format to accommodate the judging of pupil achievement. This was during the heavy alteration on its format in January of last year. Considerable criticisms were hurled against the changes especially from head teachers. The likes of Peter Gale Headteacher, an education professional himself with 20 years of experience in the field agree that that the present format is toxic. This makes those white communities that are disenfranchised to get stigmatised in the process. These schools traditionally have the poorest results in terms of academics in the country. The new parameters will only cause these schools to be more disillusioned in light of them being unfairly balanced. 

Statistics reveal that only 24% of white schoolboys in Britain achieve five A* to Cs at the end of school exams for secondary level. This includes Maths and English. Some have stated that if this is something that has been done on any ethnic group that is sitting at the bottom, people are likely going to end up becoming unsettled. However, it tends to become less controversial somehow because what is involved here are the white working-class.

While there are those that have stated how the changes that were being introduced to the league-table were welcome initially, the emerging patterns show that there may be a need for a second look at the provisions. It is also being expected that talks with the DfE will have to be carried out if they are to resolve this.

Until last year, the performance of secondary schools used to be judged mainly through the proportion of the students that can achieve five GCSEs for grades A* to C, with Maths and English included. However, the two measures that were recently adopted, which are referred to as progress 8 and Attainment 8, which are supposed to help get the rankings be fairer, seem to be doing the opposite.

The introduction of Progress 8 is aimed are measuring how well schools are serving the pupils by assessing where the students have started and where they have ended up. This is done by looking at their attainments in 8 GCSE or other equivalent subjects from grades A* to G for every pupil. The results will then be compared against other pupils’ results that entered secondary schools on the national level who belong to the same attainment levels. The maximum points for every school are at 80 points for every pupil. Across all state secondary schools in the country, the national average this year is at 49.9.

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