Admissions Statistics Don’t Show There Are Too Few Good Schools

Yet more creative reading of official statistics by a UK government minister.

More than 79,000 children missed out on a place at their first-choice secondary school for this September, apparently.

However, Nick Gibb Minister for Schools seems to think that this means, ” there simply aren’t enough good schools.”

No it doesn’t, Nick.

The figures simply show how many kids missed out on their choices, not that there aren’t enough good schools.

It may be the case, for example, that an area only has good schools. Or that an area only has bad schools. Yet we wouldn’t know that from application trends, only that specific schools have been chosen over others. Parents may be making the best of a good lot, or the best of a bad lot.

We can’t find out how good a school is from the number of applications. We need to look at other measures. The Government loves league tables, so they’d recommend that measure. Others, like us, would expect schools to be chosen on location, word-of-mouth, former pupils, newness of building and facilities, transport links and so on.

But number of applications isn’t one of them.


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