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Government announces 'new era of school data transparency'

12/01/2011 Joanna
The Department for Education has announced that parents are to have more information than ever about the performance of their child's school.

GCSE performance data published this week includes the English baccalaureate measure for the first time, telling parents the proportion of children that achieved five A* to C-grade GCSEs in English, mathematics, sciences, a modern or ancient language and history or geography.

Figures show that 15.6 per cent of students are currently reaching this benchmark.

Education secretary Michael Gove said this is the most data that parents and the public have ever been provided with about how children are performing.

"Children, parents and schools should be proud of their results, which have been achieved through all the hard work they have put in. But as the international evidence from PISA shows us, England still lags behind other nations. We have not succeeded in closing the gap and in raising attainment for all students," he commented.

"That's why we are reforming our school system by learning from the best-performing countries. In nearly every other developed country in the world children are assessed in a range of core academic subjects at 15 or 16. That is why the coalition introduced the English baccalaureate as a measure of performance."

However, speaking to the Guardian earlier this week, Ron Munson, headteacher at Taverham High School in Norwich, said that not enough is known about the English baccalaureate qualification yet and publishing figures retrospectively is "crazy".
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