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Examining school accountability


In 2013, there was a public consultation about changes to secondary school accountability in England, somewhat driven by comparisons with systems elsewhere in the world. Part of the rationale for possible changes to the English system is that ‘OECD evidence shows that a robust accountability framework is essential to improving pupils’ achievement’ (section 2.1 of the consultation document).

As a contribution to this debate, CERP reviewed evidence on the effectiveness of accountability practices in England, some of which contributed to AQA’s response to the secondary school accountability consultation.

The OECD reports focus on features associated with performance in PISA tests, but are not always ideal resources for identifying the specific features of national systems. CERP therefore examined the assessment and accountability practices of a handful of OECD countries – Finland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Japan – to get an informal sense of how other countries have gone about creating systems of school accountability.

Each country is considered individually, with a summary of findings and observations from the research included at the end of the document, along with a note on data sources.