Call Time on School League Tables, Says Policy Group; EDUCATION MATTERS

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Byline: By James Watson

Parents believe the English education system provides too little choice and is too frequently run in the interests of politicians, not children, a think tank said today.

The poll comes with the release of a new report by the right-leaning think tank Policy Exchange which argues there is too much central government intervention in schools at the expense of the role of teachers.

The report, Helping Schools Succeed: a framework for English education, calls for radical changes in the English state school system.

It wants league tables to be scrapped and replaced with a school "report card" that would provide more information for parents.

The authors also suggest making all schools independent of local authority control and encouraging them to work with charities and not-for-profit organisations in the way academies already do to increase school choice.

Authors Chris Davies and Cheryl Lim examined successful school systems around the world, focusing on New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong and Sweden.

They put forward ideas for replacing the national curriculum with a brief set of core subjects to allow schools more freedom, and back performance related pay for teachers.

The Policy Exchange says the findings of its survey show there is public support for the changes it puts forward.

The YouGov survey of parents and the general public found that two-thirds of parents believe that the national curriculum is manipulated to suit the aims of politicians and that three-quarters of parents want the curriculum to be set primarily by schools themselves.

More than 60 per cent of parents back performance-related pay for teachers. …