League tables reform 'too narrow'

May 15, 1998

COLLEGES are "very concerned" about the government's proposals to improve performance league tables in further education.

The Association of Colleges, which demanded reform of the annual A level and GNVQ-based performance tables last year, believes planned reforms are still narrow and misleading.

In its response to a Department for Education and Employment consultation paper, Secondary School and College Performance Tables, the AoC said that it agreed the public needed accurate information, but planned tables cover just 60 per cent of courses and only on A levels, AS levels, GNVQs and the BTEC. A lot of what FE achieves would not be recorded. The AoC warned: "The selective approach to data inclusion appears to penalise colleges."

The AoC said that the tables must "reflect the educational character and culture of achievement within an institution". The concentration on the 16-18 age range "seriously distorted" this.

Fear was also expressed that the tables were being used out of context:

"For example, the results were being quoted in inspection reports written by the Further Education Funding Council's Inspectorate."

The plans would not realise the government's aim to "help young people approaching the end of compulsory schooling to make informed choices about what and where to study".

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