League Tables Part 3: The Best Model of a Cat is a Cat

Reflections on schools, teaching and education.

In the first post in this short series we outlined the dizzying array of changes to school league tables since they were introduced in 1992. In the second post we looked at some of the problems associated with Progress 8 – the measure that currently dominates our league tables. What both of these posts have in common is that we shouldn’t expect any single measure to accurately capture the complex picture of school performance.


Harry Fletcher-Wood once suggested to me a way around this problem with the idea that schools are given a variety of performance measures but each year the government chooses to rank schools on just one of these, such as A*-B grades in modern foreign languages. The twist in the tale of Harry’s plan is that the DFE would only announce which measure it was going to use after pupils had sat their exams. Not knowing which…

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