School league tables ‘can be demoralising and devisive’ says Keighley head teacher

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , City Hall Reporter

Primary school league tables can be “divisive and demoralising” for many teachers, according to the head teacher of the area’s highest-achieving school.

Topping the league table for the Bradford district was Long Lee Primary, Keighley.

But its executive head teacher, Louise Smith, said while she was proud of her school’s achievement, the league tables did not sufficiently recognise the hard work done by teachers working in more challenging areas.

Mrs Smith said: “Attainment and achievement at our school has been outstanding for several years.

“We were designated as outstanding by Ofsted in 2007 and our pupil outcomes have been of a very high standard ever since, so we are delighted as a school to be able to maintain that high level and this is a credit to our parents, pupils, staff and governors. We all work hard together as a team to achieve these results.

“We are also part of a federation and our other school, Ingrow Primary in Keighley, has just been designated good with outstanding leadership and management, so we have lots to celebrate across the two schools.

“However, I am not in favour of league tables and schools that work in very challenging circumstances do not get enough credit for the enormous amount of work that they put in, because their pupils can often be making outstanding progress from their low starting points.

“This is not sufficiently recognised, and should be. It is a very divisive and demoralising system for many schools and head teachers.”

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