Schools Warned to Stop Gaming League Tables

UK schools have been warned by the UK's chief inspector to stop gaming league tables by removing students that could drag down their GCSE averages, a practice said to hit SEND students particularly hard.
Schools Warned to Stop Gaming League Tables
By David Westley
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Schools across the UK are being told to stop "off rolling", the practice of expelling students to boost lague table performance by the UK's chief inspector, Amanda Spielman.

Headteachers who try to “game” the system by removing a student that can drag down their ranking have “lost sight of the purpose of education”, says the Ofted chief.

“Dealing with students of different needs isn’t always easy but in the end the job of educators is to do what’s right by children.

The practice of expelling pupils before GCSEs at the end of Year 11 - is said to be on the rise, particularly among children with special educational needs.


Ofted's Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman

“Children with Special Educational Needs are not a problem to be pushed out of sight and out of mind.”

Ms Spielman’s criticism of off rolling is part of a wider crackdown on schools which employ dubious methods to try and boost their position in league tables.

Ofsted is currently conducting a review into the breadth of curriculum being offered to pupils amid concern that teachers were sacrificing children’s education to improve exam results.

Earlier this year, the preliminary findings of the review found that schools are increasingly teaching GCSEs over three years instead of two in an attempt to drive up results.

The practice of gaming league tables is not a particularly UK phenomena. WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, which covers education provision around the world, sees it in all the markets it is in, and across curricula. For the IB Diploma, students are quietly and more gently just moved from the Diploma Program and onto the Certificate in order to game IBDP averages.

UK government figures show that 6,685 pupils were permanently excluded from schools in England in 2015-16, a study by the Institute for Public Policy Research thinktank found that far more pupils were being moved on using informal methods not recorded in official data. It claimed that 48,000 pupils are being educated in the “alternative provision” sector, which caters for excluded students, as well as thousands of others leaving their existing schools.

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