Principals face dreaded return of league tables

August 4, 1995

Many colleges will be dismayed to learn this week that the Government is committed to another round of performance league tables and has set out arrangements for collecting data for this year, writes Alison Utley.

Last year the second national league tables caused uproar in further education. Wide-ranging criticism centred on unfair comparisons between institutions. The main concern was that vocational qualifications were seriously underplayed in the results.

Ruth Gee, chief executive of the Association for Colleges, said that they failed to record the A- level results of any students over 18. For further education colleges these made up the majority of A-level results.

But the Government has decided to make only "minor changes" to the 1995 tables.

The Further Education Funding Council told college principals this week that the Secretary of State's requirements related to two sets of information. The first was the examination and qualifications of students aged 16 to 18. The second was those of all students and their career routes.

Earlier this year the then Department for Education issued consultation documents on the publication of examination and qualification achievements but few revisions are planned as a result.

Publication of the tables is set for November and colleges are asked to make a copy accessible to parents and others on request.

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