ASCL comment on changes to performance tables

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on changes* to school and college performance tables announced by the Department for Education.
While we are pleased that the Education Secretary is taking steps to reduce the potentially damaging impact of performance tables on schools and colleges following the Covid pandemic, it is hugely disappointing that he is still intent on publishing this information despite recognising that the data is problematic. 

“The inherent flaw is that the pandemic has hit schools and colleges to vastly differing extents and it follows that performance measures based on exam results will also be affected to differing extents making this data an unreliable indicator of performance. 

“The changes announced by the Department for Education to ameliorate this situation are designed to reduce the likelihood of unfair comparisons being made between schools and colleges, which is a step in the right direction, but it will still result in performance data being published for each school and college which will affect public perceptions. 

“It would be simpler and fairer to suspend performance tables for a further year to allow some sort of return to normality before returning to the full barrage of accountability measures to which educational institutions are subjected

*Secondary accountability measures – update. P7 Changes to the Compare School and College Website for the 2021/22 academic year.