Minister blunders with list of troubled schools

Education minister apologises for errors in the assessments of several schools that resulted in the media wrongly branding them as troubled

A list of troubled schools published yesterday has been withdrawn by education minister Christine Antorini (Socialdemokraterne) after it was revealed the list contained several major errors.

The list was produced by the education oversight agency, Kvalitets- og Tilsynsstyrelsen, after reviewing all the country’s schools.

The worst 17 were published on a list on the agency’s website. The list was quickly picked up by the media, but soon after it was revealed that there were major errors in the assessments of four of the schools on the list.

In two cases, it was not taken into consideration that the schools had recently become magnet schools for children with learning difficulties. It was then discovered that several other schools had been inaccurately assessed, leading Antorini to withdraw the list.

Antorini has now decided that assessments of this sort will no longer be published, though she criticised the media for misunderstanding the nature of the list.

“This is completely unacceptable and I have asked Kvalitets- og Tilsynsstyrelsen to withdraw the report,” Antorini told the Ritzau news bureau. “I am deeply sorry that the schools have been exposed to unnecessary criticism in this way and I have personally apologised to each of them.”

She added that the list is not an official ranking, but a list of troubled schools that Kvalitets- og Tilsynsstyrelsen draws up each year.

“These sorts of publications do not benefit the development of our schools. What we need to do is make a special effort for challenged schools,” she said.