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All parents who have received a letter notifying them of the results of their applications to a post-primary school(s) would benefit from reading this post.

Why the Belfast Telegraph and Irish News must set the record straight on grammar school league table libel

Decisions made to apply to a particular grammar school based, even in part, on newspaper claims about exam performance are unsafe.

Irish News League Tables.jpg

It is important to understand that the Grammar School Exam Performance lists ( league table libel) presented in the form used by the Belfast Telegraph and the Irish News represent, at best, a marketing tool used by the newspapers to increase sales in a declining print media environment.

In the Irish News of May 22, 2017 Simon Doyle boldly claims:

The Irish News performance lists are anticipated annually and some schools advertise their positions on their websites

Here is an example from St Dominic’s High School/Grammar School in Belfast.


St Dominic's HighNote the circular self-referencing between the Irish News and St. Dominic’s High / Grammar School. The school website is ambivalent Without a hint of irony Mr Doyle avoids acknowledging that  the Irish News  advertises  a version of league table libel. Discerning parents will note that there is no presentation of information to explain the methodology used to compile the tables but it is not difficult to suggest that if a C grade is treated exactly the same as an A* grade in value and all examination subjects treated as if they will equally passport a pupil on to a university course the wheels come off these meaningless tables whether they are ‘anticipated’ or not.

Surprisingly, Mr Doyle fails to mention the complete absence from his list of his own grammar school, the Methodist College, Belfast.

Where is the equivalent breakdown for St. Dominic’s High School, Belfast?

MCB A level results