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'Comparing school league tables should be easier in future'

The number of schools classed as underperforming has doubled. Credit: PA

This is the first year that reflects all the changes the government has introduced, so it was clearly always going to be a difficult one.

I think we can safely say there is just no point in trying to compare these latest tables to any previous ones because the goal posts have shifted so much.

Looking ahead, it should become slightly easier, provided this new, more rigourous system continues to be applied.

These changes were introduced because the feeling was that GCSEs had become too easy and that employers didn't value them anymore.

But schools certainly think there has been too much change and that it has been brought in too quickly.

Qualifications, like the international GCSEs, were being promoted by the government at one point - the next moment they're not even included in the league tables.

This leaves a difficult situation for schools and a pretty confusing situation for parents.

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School league tables are 'flawed and meaningless'

School league tables, unveiled by the government today, have been branded "flawed and meaningless" by the National Association of Headteachers.

Kathy James, Director of Education at the NAHT said: "The data has changed year-on-year, the methodology has changed year-on-year, so we don't have comparable data."

ITV's Political Correspondent Romilly Weeks reports:

Jordan needs a guarantee pilot hostage is alive

Jordan needs a guarantee that one of its pilot's is alive before it can go ahead with any prisoner swap, a government spokesman said. Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kesasbeh is being held hostage by so-called Islamic State militants.

Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kesasbeh was captured when his plane went down in Syria. Credit: ITV News

The spokesman said the Iraqi prisoner Sajida al-Rishawi is still being held in Jordan.

Citizens Advice call for further energy price cuts

Recent energy price cuts by suppliers are "inadequate" and should be further reduced, Citizens Advice has said.

In the wake of official figures released by Ofgem, Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “The inadequacy of recent energy price cuts is now clear.

"Low wholesale costs are allowing energy companies to increase profits whilst barely cutting energy prices. The ball is now back in the energy firms’ court to actually compete with each other on further and deeper price cuts.

“Consumers need a better offer than the price cuts announced so far to show that energy firms are really passing on a year of falling wholesale costs. Households that are struggling to pay their bills will rightly be angered that falling wholesale costs are being passed on more quickly to shareholders than customers."

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Labour: Energy firms failing to pass savings to consumer

Caroline Flint Credit: PA Wire

Labour today accused energy companies of failing to pass on the full savings from wholesale costs falls to consumers as official figures indicated they are set to see profits soar despite the recent price cuts.

Caroline Flint, Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said: “These figures show that the profits of the big energy companies are set to soar on the back of big reductions in wholesale costs and tiny cuts to household bills.

"The reason energy companies are not passing on falling wholesale costs is because the Tories and Lib Dems voted against giving the regulator the power to cut bills.

"They had the chance to stand up for millions of families. Instead, they stood up in favour of the energy companies.

"They now have nobody else to blame for the failure of the energy companies to pass on the full savings from wholesale cost falls to all consumers."

Ed Davey: Consumers want bigger savings

Ed Davey Credit: PA Wire

Energy secretary Ed Davey has said people want to see bigger savings on their energy bills, not bigger profits going to the Big 6, as he urged consumers to consider switching supplier.

Mr Davey said: "People want to see bigger savings on their energy bills - not bigger profits going to the Big 6.

"Big energy companies face record competition thanks to our reforms. Customers won't stay if they're not getting a fair deal.

"There's never been a better time to switch supplier and save," he said.

School league tables 'too confusing' for parents

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt. Credit: PA

School league tables are now "too confusing" for parents looking to see where best to send their children.

Tristram Hunt, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said the system brought in by David Cameron was "taking the country backwards and threatening standards."

He added: "Parents deserve to know exactly how their child’s school is performing, but under this Tory-led Government all they’ve got is confusion surrounding school results year on year."

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