Are we learning anything new about Lichfield schools?

The league tables for our schools are out.

According to the report from the Lichfield Mercury published online, King Edward VI School saw 65 per cent of students get five or more A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and maths.

The Friary chalked up 58 per cent, while Nether Stowe propped up the Lichfield table with 48 per cent.

But are these tables teaching us anything we didn’t know? Everyone in Lichfield knows what the reputation (often deserved) of the three schools is like. Yes, it’s probably useful for those moving to the area to see, but such a data collection exercise is costly to meet the needs of a few.

And then there’s the ethical question of whether a school like Nether Stowe can really climb the rankings if it’s constantly having the boot put in publicly. If the tables are actually a factor in parents sending their child to a certain school (and I’m not sure that they, on their own merits are), then does parents of clever kids sending them to King Eddies because it’s the best performing really benefit the lower performing schools?

Surely schools should be aiming to bring children up to a level rather than lowering them down?

If anything, league tables should analyse how well schools in a geographic region do. That way the emphasis would be on all of Lichfield’s schools to work together and use best practice in order to provide the best quality education possible, rather than aiming for top spot at the expense of those not fortunate enough for geographic or educational reasons.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

7 Comments

  1. Aphex666

    23rd January, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    As a former King Edwards pupil it’s nice to see that the school is still doing ok. I heard from people that the quality of teaching had taken a slide in the years since I had left but who knows if nostalgia was clouding their judgement somewhat.

    I agree the league tables don’t tell you much that everyone hasn’t known for a while and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon(unless the catchment area for schools in the area changes significantly).

  2. The Main Man

    26th January, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Having never attended any of the Lichfield schools I can’t comment on the quality of teaching. What I can, however, comment on is the sort of students you see leaving these schools and the impression they give of the school population.

    And the impression each of the schools gives off won’t be changed by a league table.

  3. Aphex666

    26th January, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Could you clarify your comment about the students “leaving” these schools. Are you talking about the lack of useful skills they have learnt upon graduation, or the fact they keep climbing into your back garden to get their footballs when walking home? : )

  4. The Main Man

    26th January, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    The latter obviously. I used to have to go past Nether Stowe at chucking out time. For a while I thought two fingers was the same as a wave in Lichfield!

  5. Aphex666

    26th January, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    I know what you mean, I’m only 30 but I can see the difference in the kids coming up these days.

    I apologise for the generalisation but they are all lazy, workshy, quitters who think well paid jobs are given out like STD’s in The Scales on a Saturday night.

  6. Double Lady

    18th May, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    I attended Netherstowe, then went on to College and University and got a 2.1 , I moved South and have a family, both my girls are doing well. My eldest finished her first GCSE at the age of 12 (yr8) with a B – Not bad for an Ex Netherstowe pupil !

  7. Double Lady

    18th May, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Some young people work very hard and give a lot back to the community. I am an Ex Netherstowe pupil, I went on to college then University and got a 2.1 . I moved South and both my children are doing well, My eldest finished her first GCSE at the age of 12 (yr8).
    At the end of a school day you will see children letting off steam on the way out of school, it happens in most schools

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