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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 December 2006, 01:14 GMT
Primary school results go online
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The pupil database tailors available information to different users
Performance data on all Welsh schools has been put online - five years after "league tables" were scrapped.

The results have been distilled from statistics on the government's National Pupil Database.

Unlike in England there are no tables. Instead, as in Scotland, there is a separate results page for each school.

For the first time these include primary schools - in the form of teachers' assessments of their pupils, there being no mandatory testing.

Primary school league tables were never published in Wales so the availability of these assessments is wholly new.

Context

The dropping of the secondary school performance tables in 2001 followed the devolution of most of the education system to the Welsh Assembly Government.

Education Minister Jane Davidson said they were divisive and placed an unnecessary burden on schools.

But schools have still been required to publish their results in their prospectuses and governors' annual reports.

The Local Government Data Unit says: "Users are encouraged to contact individual schools for these publications, which allow results to be put in context and better reflect local circumstances and education provision."

It stresses: "A wide range of factors have a bearing on school performance."

However, there is as yet nothing in the official data it is publishing that takes such things into account.

In England "value added" measures - which attempt to show pupils' progress, rather than just raw results - are being enhanced with "contextualised" information.

This attempts to reflect the influence of youngsters' backgrounds on their attainment.

A similar approach is being piloted in Wales.

In publishing schools' results, the Cardiff government says it is simply making data that is already in the public domain more readily accessible to the general public.

At the same time it is keen to protect it "from misuse and misinterpretation".




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