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Welsh favour a return to league tables, poll shows

24/10/2011 Kelly
A study of Welsh citizens has found that the majority would favour a return to school 'league tables'.

The poll, conducted by Beautfort Research, discovered that some 55 per cent of Welsh inhabitants believe the Assembly should publish league tables based on A-level and GCSE results, reported.

Despite such rankings being scrapped ten years ago, this survey appears to indicate that opinions are changing.

Having been abandoned under pressure from teaching organisations, league tables were considered by critics to be crude, inaccurate and unfair.

Director of the head teachers' union NAHT Cymru, Anna Brychan, told the news provider: "This is a deceptively simple question which hides a deeply complex picture – and that's always the problem with league tables."

Of the 1,018 people who were surveyed for the poll, just under a third (32 per cent) felt that league tables should not return.

The Welsh government recently announced a new 'banding' system in which schools are placed into one of five category bands based on a range of data.

Band One schools are considered the best while Band Five are considered weak in comparison to the others and need more support.

The new banding system has been criticised by unions as effectively a return to league tables in Wales.

Secretary of the NUT Wales, David Evans, said: "No matter how this banding process is packaged, it will ultimately be seen as a return to league tables, especially when you consider it is a system based on ranking schools performance relative to each other."

This new poll, however, seems to suggest that the Welsh are prepared to return to league tables, in spite of the complaints against them.

Meanwhile, a Welsh Government spokesman said there was no plan to return to what he labelled "simplistic league tables", said.

The spokesman commented that while the government understands that parents wish to know how their children's schools are performing, it does not consider publishing league tables to be the best way to deliver the information.

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-800774039-ADNFCR
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