Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the EPI’s paper, calling for schools to be assessed on pupil inclusion as well as attainment.
“The EPI is quite right to highlight that measuring multi-academy trusts and other school groups on pupil progress and attainment alone could create problems that can lead, in some circumstances, to serious consequences for vulnerable students.
“The idea of introducing performance measures that recognise the good work that most schools do in prioritising inclusion and supporting vulnerable children is well observed and something we have already identified as beneficial.
“ASCL’s Blueprint for a Fairer Education System, published in September last year, proposes the idea of a ‘data dashboard’ of performance measures which goes beyond academic results, precisely because of the critical work that schools do in other ways such as inclusion.
“However, any proposal to introduce such performance measures would clearly have to be carefully considered to ensure accuracy and fairness.
“Unfortunately, schools often feel that performance tables are deeply unfair so it is vital that any new measure has the confidence and support of the sector rather than feeling like another stick with which to beat schools.”