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Measuring success: League tables in the public sector

Foley, B. & Goldstein, H. Measuring success: League tables in the public sector. British Academy Policy Centre, London, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-85672-600-2. Pages: 76. Institutional rankings are now widely used in the public sector but their application is still highly contentious. Measuring success examines the use of league tables in education and reviews the available evidence to determine the benefits and the problems associated with their use. The report concludes that there is a lack of good evidence about league tables, which has only helped fuel their controversy. It also highlights the limitations of league tables and recommends that they should be accompanied by prominent 'health warnings'. Furthermore, the authors suggest that some of the negative side effects of league tables could be reduced if they are used only as an internal tool to improve performance by the institutions involved and not published or made publicly available. British Academy