School League Tables
School league tables are the subject of continuing debate. Tables measure results in different ways. Some use raw grades (commonly measuring pass rates at A*-A, or A*-C at A Level, for example), others use “A Level equivalent” where different qualifications, such as BTECs, are included; and others again rely on points, which can give a misleading comparison between performance under different systems – notably between A Levels and the International Baccalaureate.
None of these measures take into account the cohort at an individual school, or provide any context about the student body or the school’s intake. “Value-added”, which illustrates how well a school has helped its students to progress, is a fairer measure for enabling comparison, but these scores are not, at present, easy to secure for independent schools because of differences in the way that children are assessed at key stages.
Adding to the difficulty of compiling accurate league tables is the fact that a large proportion of exam results are wrong – research by Ofqual shows that as many as half of all grades in some subjects are estimated to be incorrect, in either direction, by a whole grade. A significant proportion of results are successfully appealed each year, and are revised in the weeks and months after results day.
In common with an increasing number of other high profile independent schools, we do not release our results for inclusion in the autumn league tables, because we feel that they are misleading at best. We do publish our results at GCSE and A Level, and an overview of the destinations of our pupils.