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Crowe outlines Sinn Féin opposition to school league tables

13 November, 2006

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Seán Crowe TD today reiterated Sinn Féin's opposition to School League Tables and urged the government to eradicate educational disadvantage instead of reinforcing it.

The Dublin South West TD said, "The publication of school league tables are misleading. Our teachers contribute to the education of our children in ways that are not readily measurable. Teachers in schools in disadvantaged areas invariably face more challenges than their colleagues elsewhere. School league tables are crude measurements of students' academic performance regarding points achieved in exams. They do not reflect the quality of teaching going on in schools.

"School tables do not compare like with like. There are significant gaps in resources between schools in areas of high disadvantage and so-called 'elite' schools. Such league tables can easily give a school a bad name, will lead to parents cherry picking schools and will further intensify the educational inequality that is already so acute.

"The government should be increasing its spending on Education, as we languish 29th out of 30 OECD countries when it comes to the amount that we spend on each second level pupil as a percentage of GDP. The publication of school league tables will merely lead to the relegation of some schools, notably those in areas of disadvantage who are already fighting against the odds with schoolchildren being taught in overcrowded conditions and in divided PE halls." Críoch

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