Drop ‘misleading’ school statistic, Government told

The Government should drop a “misleading” statistic that suggests up to 1.9 million more pupils in England attend good or outstanding schools than in 2010, a former Minister says.

The Government says the increase is due to its reforms but former Schools Minister David Laws says it “is simply impossible for this statistic to bear the weight that ministers want to place on it”.

However, the Department for Education dismissed criticism of its use of the figure.

Liberal Democrat Mr Laws was Schools Minister in the coalition government from 2012 until 2015, when he lost his parliamentary seat. He is now executive chairman of the Education Policy Institute think tank.

Research by the EPI reveals at least 40 mentions of the statistic by the government “spread across two prime ministers, four Secretaries of State for education and numerous Ministers”.

But closer analysis identifies several factors which “undermine” the statistic’s “status as a fair comparison”, says the think tank,

In particular, the authors say, more than a quarter of the rise in pupils attending good or outstanding schools is accounted for by an absolute increase in pupil numbers and shifts in the schools which pupils attend.

Read the full article on the BBC.

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