New tables not fair, says head

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Latest education news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A headteacher has hit out at government changes to GCSE exam results in league tables used to rate the performance of schools.

Caroline Gibson, headteacher at Hadleigh High School, claims a new policy by the Department for Education means reported exam results in English and Maths are likely to be lower than the actual grades achieved.

“Any pupils who sit examinations in November and then achieve higher grades when resitting them the following summer will only contribute their November grades to the school’s overall league table performance,” she said.

“The likely effect of this policy is that the exam results for the school – and those reported by the DfE – will be substantially lower than the actual outcomes achieved by our youngsters.”

In a letter to parents, Mrs Gibson said grade boundaries had been constantly changing, often midway through the examination year.

“Secondary education is in a state of flux,” she said. “In the whole of my teaching career, I have never experienced so much change so quickly.”

“All of these changes have been introduced midway through the courses the children have been studying, with no warning given when pupils started. This method of approach causes problems for us.”

She said success for pupils was more important than league tables, which had been inconsistent.

Wayne Lloyd, headteacher at Thomas Gainsborough School, said the new policy would not affect the school as it reported initial grades and not resits.