Providing educational accountability for Local Authorities based upon sampling pupils within schools: moving away from simplistic school league tables

by   Harvey Goldstein, et al.

This paper proposes an alternative educational accountability system for England that moves away from simplistic comparisons, or league tables, among schools towards a more nuanced reporting at a level of education authorities or other school groupings. Based upon the sampling of pupils within schools, it proposes the use of quantitative pupil assessment data as screening devices that provide evidence within an integrated accountability system that includes inspection. At the same time, it aims to provide a richer set of data than currently available for research as well as accountability purposes. We argue that if carefully implemented within a context of school improvement, such a system has the potential to largely eliminate the deleterious side effects and curriculum distortions of the present system. While being proposed within the context of the current English secondary school system, the proposals will have relevance for other phases of schooling and similar systems in other countries.


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