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GCSE League tables: why don't they separate out 'selective' from 'comps'?

(73 Posts)
Erebus Sun 27-Jan-13 12:44:41

Guess I have to at least acknowledge the separation of private from state in The Torygraph tables! That's reasonably new. Especially seeing as those dumb Torygraph writers just cannot understand why a selective, fee paying school produces better academic results when compared to a local takes-all-comers comp, saying 'the state schools should learn from the private schools...' what, like barring entry to their hallowed halls to the less clever, the potentially disruptive and the poor? Watch every school in the country 'improve' if they could select their intake!

Now I'd like to see a separation of selective from non-selective in order to compare academic results a little more fairly.

here if you're at all interested

GinandJag Sun 27-Jan-13 14:08:44

I thought they did say whether the schools were local authority selective or comp. Or local authority vs independent.

I think what they don't do is separate out independent selective vs non-selective - but then, this is virtually impossible to do.

My DD goes to an independent non-selective in a grammar school area, and her school consistently out-performs the grammar schools despite nearby selective independent schools creaming off the top students.

NotADragonOfSoup Sun 27-Jan-13 14:29:03

I imagine they don't do it so that you can compare all state schools against each other without having to faff about with more than one list. IMO it makes more sense to have one list for all schools though.

If it is clear what a school's intake is then how is it unfair?

CaseyShraeger Sun 27-Jan-13 14:31:27

Most of the country doesn't have selective schools, though, and anyone local will know which of the state schools are selective and which aren't. And a school isn't always simply selective or non-selective -- my niece goes to a school that selects 20% of its intake but takes the other 80% with no selection based on distance from the school, so would that get labelled selective or not in your table?

FlouncingMintyy Sun 27-Jan-13 14:32:36

Erebus - I think most people of average intelligence understand why selective schools get better results but not, it seems, a surprisingly large number of Mumsnetters!

teacherwith2kids Sun 27-Jan-13 14:52:31

I rather like the way that the idiocy of the tables is highlighted this year by the fact that the 'Sunday Times School of the Year' is also the worst performing school in the entire country in terms of GCSE results including English and maths....because it used an English qualification that the DfE doesn't recognise.....

teacherwith2kids Sun 27-Jan-13 14:52:52

(Should say it is a super-selective grammar)

discorabbit Sun 27-Jan-13 14:55:48

when did we get league tables, sure we didn't have them in the 80s

LeeCoakley Sun 27-Jan-13 14:57:52

It's also impossible to compare like-for-like 'comprehensive' schools at A-level. All entry to 6th form is selective but some are more selective than others. And I'm looking at you Hockerill Anglo-European College! (All As needed at GCSE to get into 6th form last time I looked).

Erebus Sun 27-Jan-13 15:51:17

No, the linked LT doesn't tell you whether a school is at all selective or not. And names can be deceptive: some comps have the word 'grammar' in them because once they were, and 'high school' can mean anything!

If it's a 'league table' it should tabulate its results in leagues: independents, state fully academically selective, state semi selective, state non academically selective. Only then are we comparing apples with apples. Which after all is what we're expected to do with these tables, isn't it?

They're there to name, praise or shame. Well, if a decent proportion of an area is selective, and the rest not, those non selective schools which are working miracles will be way down that LEA list when compared to its GS. Looking at you, Wiltshire.

NotADragonOfSoup Sun 27-Jan-13 16:39:25

Surely you know which local schools are selective though? If you are interested in secondary education at all that is.

NewFerry Sun 27-Jan-13 16:49:34

Wiltshire only has 2 grammar schools, one for boys, the other for girls. Both in Salisbury, far south of the county and only really of interest to wiltshire parents in the local area.

I'm not sure I really understand your last point, but I have had wine with lunch. So maybe it's me.

TotallyBS Sun 27-Jan-13 16:52:43

Erebus - They DO separate out the different types of schools for the league tables. They just aren't doing it in the report that you are looking at.

In anycase, such a report does serve a purpose. One can see how a highly selective state school compares to a highly selective indie or a non selective indie.

Just because YOU can't see the logic behind something doesn't mean that there is no logic

mummytime Sun 27-Jan-13 16:55:41

Well I'm kind of pleased they don't as it really highlights those selective a which do worse than a local comp. eg. Those independent and selective a below my DCs comp

teacherwith2kids Sun 27-Jan-13 16:55:48

The BBC version of the League Tables is slightly more informative in this area as it makes the type of school much clearer and more explicit.

teacherwith2kids Sun 27-Jan-13 16:59:45

Mummytime, I rather enjoy that, too... there is only 1 local independent above my DS's (secondary modern, as it is in an area with some residual grammars) comprehensive, and even that is only ahead in some measures.

FlouncingMintyy Sun 27-Jan-13 17:39:12

I would have thought league tables were only useful if you are thinking of moving house for a specific school?

Or if you are going to pay private school fees.

What purpose do they serve otherwise?

TotallyBS Sun 27-Jan-13 17:55:46

What purpose? It is the life and soul of many MN threads above comps v GS v indie.

FlouncingMintyy Sun 27-Jan-13 18:34:52

I've got two children at school and never looked at a league table!

JoanByers Sun 27-Jan-13 20:40:03

There is no such thing as a comprehensive school.

Some schools have tiny catchments in super-rich areas.

Others take in almost no bright kids at all.

Appearing near the top of the table is contingent on a selective intake, whether that be done by financial means, religion, or, the most honest option, a test.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 27-Jan-13 21:01:41

The BBC tables clearly state the type of school on the front page
and do not have an axe to grind (like the papers do)

TalkinPeace2 Sun 27-Jan-13 21:02:40

There are LOTS of truly comprehensive schools - mostly a safe distance from London.

FlouncingMintyy Sun 27-Jan-13 21:27:36

What on earth do you mean JoanByers? My dd's school is a comprehensive and I can't imagine its that unusual.

FlouncingMintyy Sun 27-Jan-13 21:28:14

And its in London.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sun 27-Jan-13 21:29:37

DS1's school is a comprehensive that takes 25% of its intake on academic ability. Which category would you put it in?

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