league tables

What is the real value of performance data and league table rankings? Does statistical information give parents a false sense of security about their child’s future success? And what impact does attending a highly ranked school really have on a child’s chances at future success? This talk hopes to grapple with such questions.  


Ralph Lucas 2015

Ralph Lucas is the Editor in Chief of The Good Schools Guide, the invaluable reference point for parents looking for schoolsembracingas it does, reports on the best of both the independent and the maintained sectors. The Guide has a team of inspectors who research schools with parents and others, visit them, and then write their independent and critical reviews. He is therefore peculiarly well placed to talk and chair, as he will be at the Independent Schools Show.

He was himself educated at Eton and Oxford, became a Chartered Accountant and then worked for S.G. Warburg (merchant bankers). He has run the Guide since 2000, and is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, a company with a keen interest in education supporting a number of the most famous of the country's schools.


Alastair McCall

Alastair McCall has compiled or edited The Sunday Times Schools Guide, Parent Power, since 1999. The guide is one of the most popular features of The Sunday Times' digital offering and is accessed by readers throughout the year. Next week, the guide will return as a standalone print magazine also this year, reflecting the continuing demand from parents for clear information about schools. The unique, interactive guide - searchable by school name, town, post code and local authority - chronicles the academic performance of the country's leading 1,200 secondary schools, ranked by their most recent public examination results. Primary and prep schools are ranked by their performance in the preceding year's SATs outcomes.

Alastair, who also edits The Sunday Times Good University Guide and the paper's annual Rich List, has written about education from his first days working as journalist on The Journal in Newcastle-upon-Tyne more than 30 years ago. He has previously worked for The Daily Telegraph and was news editor of the Daily Express before joining The Sunday Times in 1998.

The full 2019 timetable will be published on Tuesday 8 October.