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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 November, 2003, 12:05 GMT
More school info to go on the web
Peter Peacock with school pupil
Peter Peacock wants to make more material accessible
Information on the performance of Scotland's secondary schools should be available to parents on the web in mid-December, officials say.

The Education Minister, Peter Peacock, said this would be "in a new format linked to other relevant information available at school level".

This might include such things as inspection reports and truancy figures.

But it appears the material might not be given in advance to the news media who compile annual "league tables".

And comparing the performance of different schools looks like being a laborious process.

Wider information

Mr Peacock was asked in Parliament whether the executive would publish school examination results for each school this year - following reports that the league tables were being scrapped.

He said he wanted to promote an assessment of individual schools' progress that was better than "national league tables".

"I want parents, pupils and communities to know about the performance of their local schools, and the information available to go much wider than just exam results," he said.

"I am concluding arrangements for the publication of school level exam results in a new format linked to other relevant information available at school level.

"I am also considering how best to draw together the other sources of information for parents.

"This will complement information already available locally to parents through school handbooks and reports published by education authorities, and make it easily accessible to all with an interest."

Parliament would be told the details of those arrangements in due course - but a website was part of the plan.

"We aim to have in place the arrangements by mid-December. This will mean that school level data on a range of issues is available when school handbooks are published."

Mr Peacock said the proposals "move decisively away from simplistic comparisons of school performance using only exam results towards a rigorous but better balanced overall approach to the evaluation of school performance in Scotland."

A spokesperson for the Executive said the sort of additional information that could be made available would be inspection reports and attendance figures.

Until now the publication of data has been sparse - essentially name of school and its exam results, not even an address and phone number.

In England, in contrast, there is an increasing amount - including new "value added" data, designed to show how each school helps pupils to raise their achievement.

The collated exam results for each education authority, and for Scotland as a whole, are expected to be published before that - on 4 November.

Education Minister Peter Peacock
"Exam results on their own are a one-dimensional look at schools"

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