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Publishing School Examination Results in England: incentives and consequences

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Since 1992, the quality daily national press in England has published the examination results of secondary schools. In this paper, we discuss the policy context, the results that are published, how they are used by parents making preferences for secondary schools and the consequences of their publication. Overall, the publication of examination results has created a range of incentives for those in the education market place. These incentives serve to strengthen the position of certain categories of pupils on the one hand and certain types of schools on the other. The findings are discussed in the context of the Labour Government's focus on those at risk of social exclusion. Modified and additional indicators are proposed to mitigate the effects of the newly created quasi-market in education. 'League tables' are here to stay, for once information is in the public domain it cannot easily be suppressed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centre for Educational Research, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK

Publication date: 2000-12-01

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