Magazine article Public Finance

Private Schools Say League Tables Create Fear of Failure

Magazine article Public Finance

Private Schools Say League Tables Create Fear of Failure

Article excerpt

Leading independent schools have joined the chorus of voices criticising school league tables, with two elite schools deciding to opt out of the system.

Eton College and St Paul's boys' school in west London revealed that they will refuse to submit their exam results to the Independent Schools Council for publication in August.

At the Boarding Schools Association annual conference in York on April 29, chair Geoffrey Boult said: 'League tables often seem to produce fear of failure, and teachers and pupils can share in this experience.'

The BSA is concerned that the tables present only a narrow picture of school achievements.

Hilary Moriarty, BSA national director, told Public Finance that the emphasis on league tables meant some students were prevented from participating in extra-curricular activities for fear that they would perform poorly in exams and thus jeopardise the school's position in the tables.

'League tables show us one tiny element of schools, blown up out of all proportion and dangerously so. There's more to school than grades: there's education. …

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