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EDITIONS
Monday, 1 July, 2002, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK
Top schools' concern over exam results
Eton College
Top schools like Eton are represented by the HMC
Concerns over the accuracy of exam results may lead many top independent schools to boycott the publication of their GCSE and A-level results this summer.

Schools including Eton, Dulwich College, London and the Kings School in Ely have traditionally had their results published in the late summer by the Independent Schools Council.

But, under a change of policy this year, members of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) will no longer be compelled to submit their results for publication.


The results given in August are seen to be increasingly unreliable

Independent Schools Council information service
The move by the HMC follows concerns from head teachers about the reliability of exam results given out to schools in August.

"What has precipitated the change is an increasing concern over the very variable performance of exam boards," said a spokesman for the Independent Schools Council information service (Iscis).

"The results given in August are seen to be increasingly unreliable.

"A number of schools have had quite inexcusable errors - for example, two or three schools found they just did not get any results through for major subjects like English.

"And frequently results are changed on appeal - and that process takes a number of weeks - so schools are unwilling to be judged by those results in August ahead of the government's league tables in November," the spokesman said.

Many independent schools were also concerned that the publication of raw results - which other outlets turn into league tables - could distort what a school had to offer.

"There has been a growing unease about the league table business throughout the independent sector," the Iscis spokesman said.

Shortcomings

Mark Pyper, head of Gordonstoun, said he had many reservations about league tables.

Mr Pyper - whose school withdrew from HMC two years ago partly over the requirement to publish results - said the publication of raw results took no consideration of the ability of individual students.


League tables are purely academic and take no account of the broader school curriculum

Mark Pyper, Gordonstoun
"They do not show if young people are getting suitable grades for their talent.

"A brilliant pupil who gets a B grade has not done as well as a pupil who finds academic work challenging yet gets a C grade," he said.

"And even if all that was solved, league tables are purely academic and take no account of the broader school curriculum."

Iscis has been publishing GCSE and A-level results for all its member schools since 1992.

Results are published by Iscis on an alphabetical rather than competitive basis.

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Graham Able, Master of Dulwich College
"We test more already than any other country that I know of"
See also:

22 Nov 01 | UK Education
22 Nov 01 | UK Education
13 Nov 01 | UK Education
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