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League tables stigmatise white working class areas.

League tables stigmatise white working class areas.

The way secondary school league tables in England are now devised is unfairly stigmatising schools in white working-class areas, head teachers say.

They say the format is "toxic" for schools with a combination of high levels of deprivation and few pupils speaking English as a second language.

"Disenfranchised" communities will be even more disillusioned if their schools are unfairly blamed, say heads.

The Department for Education says the revised rankings have become "fairer".

Geoff Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers' union, said the league-table changes had been welcomed as an improvement but the patterns emerging meant it was "definitely time to look at it again" and talks with the Department for Education were expected.

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