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sorry I know this has been done but for a complete novice, what the hell do league tables mean?!

(8 Posts)
katierocket Mon 25-Jul-05 12:39:08

for primary schools?
what do I look for?

fqueenzebra Mon 25-Jul-05 20:32:23

oooh.... worth a bump if naught else.
What you could do is look at the average for England and Wales in the 3 subjects (Maths, English, science), and compare with how the school that you are looking at does (everything is reflected as a % pass rate, I think).

Obviously, if the national rates are around 75% for each subject, but the school you're looking at has numbers around 85%-95%, you're looking at school which looks really good on paper.

But this could be down to just the fact that the kids in the area come from comfortably upper middle class households, so they have lots of social advantages & not the social problems that a school with numbers more like 60% might have.

This is why it's important to read the Ofsted reports, too, and to try hard to visit the school yourself to see what the feel & ethos are like.

fqueenzebra Mon 25-Jul-05 20:42:38

oooh.... worth a bump if naught else.
What you could do is look at the average for England and Wales in the 3 subjects (Maths, English, science), and compare with how the school that you are looking at does (everything is reflected as a % pass rate, I think).

Obviously, if the national rates are around 75% for each subject, but the school you're looking at has numbers around 85%-95%, you're looking at school which looks really good on paper.

But this could be down to just the fact that the kids in the area come from comfortably upper middle class households, so they have lots of social advantages & not the social problems that a school with numbers more like 60% might have.

This is why it's important to read the Ofsted reports, too, and to try hard to visit the school yourself to see what the feel & ethos are like.

fqueenzebra Mon 25-Jul-05 20:42:50

oops, computer hiccups!

katierocket Mon 25-Jul-05 20:43:15

thank you !

Creole Mon 25-Jul-05 21:24:41

Also, it's good to look at sats results over time ie. timeseries for over 4/5 years. The performance tables ("league tables") does show you this as well - a good school is most likely to have a consistent good results.
Another thing to look for is the absence results, exclusion rates and SEN data for the school, these show you the type of kids the school have and how it deals with behaviour.
But the best predictor is to visit the school(s), the tables or the reports shown be a guide.

MaloryTowers Mon 25-Jul-05 21:29:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

janinlondon Wed 27-Jul-05 10:35:48

Katierocket the percentages presented for state schools by the schools themselves are usually the percentage of children who achieved level 4 (the standard expected) or above at the key stage 2 national curriculum test in that subject. The BBC and lots of newspapers league tables do not distinguish between "level 4" and "level 4 and above". If you look at the DFES website it breaks this down for you, which can be useful. Private schools taking SATS tend to present their results differently though. Not sure whether you were looking at state or private.

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