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CALLS FOR REFORM OF PRIMARY SCHOOL LEAGUE TABLES AND 'FRESH START' POLICY FOR SECONDARIES

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The only primary school with a perfect success rate in national tests has launched an attack on the league table sy...
The only primary school with a perfect success rate in national tests has launched an attack on the league table system, reports The Times (p9).

For the fifth consecutive year pupils at Shennington primary school in Oxfordshire all reached the required level in maths, English and science.

But the headteacher, Coral Jessop-Burnell, called on ministers to upgrade the evaluation system, saying that league tables should be based on the 'value-added' impact of a school, calculated on the progress made by each child between the ages of seven and 11.

She said: 'The statistics are unfair in their present form. The results are good for us but they are not good for other schools. We should focus on what the school does for each child.

'Only that way can we be compared with the inner city school because they take in [pupils] at a certain level, whereas we take in at a higher level. Every school would be on a level playing field then, no matter where they are.'

Meanwhile, secondary school headteachers were yesterday calling for a rethink of the government's Fresh Start policy after a fourth school announced the resignation of its 'superhead'.

The Times (p4) reports that Mike Davies handed in his notice at Telegraph Hill school in Lewisham, London, after it failed an Ofsted inspection. The school is the third of the 11 fresh start schools to be classed as failing despite an expensive relaunch.

John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads Assocation, said the fresh start policy, introduced in 1998 was more like a 'false start'.

He added: 'The policy is failing because it is based on the premise that a single individual can turn around a school in a very difficult situation. The difficulties faced by these schools are rooted in the communities they serve. The policy should be completely revised.'

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