Performance tables

Performance tables were created in 1992 by John Major’s Conservative government as part of the Citizen’s Charter. The stated aim was to give parents the consumer information they needed to create a free market in school choice.

The official DfES performance tables are now called Achievement and Attainment Tables.

Every year the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) publishes information on the achievement and attainment of all schools. These performance tables provide a guide to how well a school is doing. They list National Curriculum test results for each school in England and show how they compare with other schools.

There are four tables published each year:

  • Key Stage 2 tables (with Key Stage 2 test results for all state primary schools in England)
  • Key Stage 3 tables (with Key Stage 3 test results for all state secondary schools in England)
  • Key Stage 4 tables (with results for GCSEs and equivalent qualifications)
  • post-16 tables (with results in general and vocational AS and A levels, Key Skills at level 3, Advanced Extension Awards, other advanced vocational qualifications and intermediate vocational qualifications)

Test results will not give a complete picture of a school, but they may help to form a fuller impression of a school.