Today saw the publication of the latest senior school league tables. 2014 senior school league tables
We’re all familiar with the format which ranks each school’s performance at GCSE and A level, so parents can supposedly compare the merits of one school with another, when considering their future school choices. Of course the results of these examinations play an important part of evaluating the success of a school, however all parents should remember that there’s so much more to the educational programme of a school than simply their past examination results.
In terms of league table position, one should review carefully the admissions criteria for entry to the schools you are considering. Highly competitive schools, which admit only the brightest of the numerous applicants, should be delivering top examination results. Better than that in my opinion, are the schools which are less academically selective in their admissions process, but still achieve top grades in exams, since these would appear to have delivered beyond expectation, rather than simply meeting it.
League tables should be only be a teeny tiny part of the long list of factors to take into consideration when putting together your potential senior school short-list. Education is not just about examination results, it’s also about:
- Offering individual support to every child so that they can attain their unique potential in a whole range of curriculum areas, at whatever level that may be.
- Developing the ability to think for oneself, challenge and question.
- Developing communication skills, confidence and independence.
- Developing a sense of community and awareness of others.
- Acquiring knowledge and learning how to apply it effectively within the world of work.
- Engaging in a whole range of diverse experiences to find new hobbies and interests which can be continued into adult life.
- Identifying potential careers of interest, as well as being advised on the best education pathway towards achieving them.
- Developing employability skills including those needed for presentation, interview, time management, reliability, responsibility, decision making and leadership.
There are many successes achieved annually in schools, quite apart from those achieved in examinations. Sport, drama, art, music, public speaking, design and technology, Young Enterprise, Duke of Edinburgh, to name but a few. These in my view should be taken into account as proof of success an attaining all-round education, which, alongside examination results, is so important in these days of highly competitive university entry, internship or job interview.
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