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to think that schools should give A-level results as a percentage of children who start lower sixth

(13 Posts)
reallytired Tue 23-Aug-11 10:20:09

League tables have shown that results have improved year on year.

I think that part of the rise in results is the practice of kicking out low achieving children, however hard they worked.

When I was in the sixth no one got kicked out unless they played truant or were caught smoking or were seriously distruptive. The nice but dim kids were allowed to complete their a levels even if they came out with 2 Es.

I think it would give a more accurate picture of a school if children who failed to complete a course were included in league tables as failing that A-level.

InfinityButNotBeyond Tue 23-Aug-11 10:36:47

... but wouldn't that just mean that schools were even more strict in their entry criteria for A levels? And they wouldn't even give the "nice though a bit dim but might surprise us" children a chance?

goinnowhere Tue 23-Aug-11 10:39:28

In your day, schools were not judged on results in the same way. Also, more children start a levels now, when it might not be the best route for them.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 23-Aug-11 10:58:33

I was going to say "YANBU" until I read Infinity's post.

Now I have no idea grin

reallytired Tue 23-Aug-11 11:02:25

When I was at school there were no league tables in the same way.

Some children find the change in style of learning hard. They do badly at A-level inspite of good GCSE results.

I feel that a school being forced to give their drop out rate would give a more accurate picture of their quality of teaching. I have found it shocking reading on mumsnet of children being kicked out of the 6th form two weeks before exams.

AMumInScotland Tue 23-Aug-11 11:07:41

Up here in Scotland, they go even further back - the results are given as a % of the S4 year group numbers (the equivalent of the numbers in the school at GCSE stage).

So the school can't improve their stats by not letting them stay on for Highers, and will get better stats for putting the "might pass on a good day" students in for the exams, as some of them will have a good day and get the pass.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 23-Aug-11 11:21:58

I think this demonstrates the limitations of relying on pretty crude figures.

TheSmallClanger Tue 23-Aug-11 11:25:21

Ironically, FE colleges are judged by the inspectorate on their dropout rate, so the opposite happens. Student registration is delayed until a few really obvious dropouts have disappeared, thus making the figures look much rosier.

Don't get me started on the grade manipulation needed to keep some people on courses though.

knittedbreast Tue 23-Aug-11 12:50:30

i dont know but i dont think we should do so many gcses at all.
if we all had to do maths, english, seperate sciences and history and a language that gives everyone a good grounding in knowledge. after tha t you should pick Alevels in more varied subjects and use those to base any further study or degrees on.

reallytired Tue 23-Aug-11 14:36:18

I think the system like TheSmallClanger describes is ideal. Someone who drops out early can often switch courrse without wasting a year.

Also it would be fairer on further ed colleges if they were assesse against the same criteria as schools and vice a versa. Especially when they are catering for the same age group.

LRDTheFeministDragon Tue 23-Aug-11 14:48:08

I agree with infinity.

I would like to see graphs for how children have improved, not just what they get. For a student who got a clutch of C's and D's at GCSE to get Bs at A-Level is a triumph; for a student who got A*s at GCSE to get Bs is a disappointment. Lots of people think you can't improve much, but some children can and do - some find they hated GCSE but really take to ALevels and imo the fact they have improved on what was expected is really important, not just the end result, especially since A Levels are essentially a measure of your potential to do well later on, at work or at university.

ellisbell Tue 23-Aug-11 14:56:21

it would be good if we had a system that would should how will schools did for particular groups -so they had to say of those who got, say, 8 GSCE how many went on to A level and of those how many got 3As or more. You can't compare the results of a grammr school with a comprehensive because they have a different intake but you can compare those who have similar GSCEs to see how well they do at A level.

There are attempts at "value added" tables but they do have problems.

Insomnia11 Tue 23-Aug-11 14:58:49

My problem with A-Levels was they came at a time when I'd just discovered sex and night clubs. I did ok though. smile

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