ASTI renews its criticism of feeder school tables


SECONDARY SCHOOL teachers renewed their criticism of feeder school lists yesterday after the publication of the latest tables.

Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) general secretary John White said school league tables were a product of the raw market philosophy and distort the facts about schools. The National Parents’ Council (post primary) backed the ASTI in opposing the lists.

The most recent poll published by the Department of Education showed almost 75 per cent of parents support publication of information on exam performance.

But Rose Tully of the council said the tables focus only on exam success and do not give a rounded picture of school performance.

Publication of school exam performance is prohibited under the Education Act. The department’s school inspection reports, published for the past three years, make no mention of exam performance. Mr White said it was understandable that parents might view the construction of college entry tables with some fascination.

“However, it is important to recognise that these tables do not tell us about the performance of schools and present a distorted picture of the second-level school system.

“There is not a scrap of evidence to prove that two pupils of equal academic ability will perform differently if one goes to a school at the top of these league tables and the other to another school,” he said.