“I do not recognise these 'rankings', which are mere hierarchies of schools, as a great indicator of the quality of the work that is done in schools”, said João Costa in statements to Lusa.

One of the lists most criticised by the ministry is the one that is limited to ranking schools by average results obtained in national exams, ignoring the socio-economic contexts of school communities.

“Over the last few years we have produced many performance indicators in schools, we have more than five dozen indicators that allow us to gauge the quality of the work carried out”, he underlined.

Since 2016, the Ministry has invested in the production of indicators to achieve “a good, richer and denser picture”, which allows people to “not to jump to easy conclusions” when talking about schools and the Portuguese education system.

From the list of 56 indicators, João Costa highlighted equity, because “it allows the quality of school work to be evaluated not only in terms of the absolute final results, as school quality is traditionally referred to, but how each school promotes work with the students according to their profile”.

Equity indicator

Through the equity indicator, it is possible to understand the work of the school, since there is a comparison between students with the same socioeconomic profile that allows us to understand “how far the school takes them”.

The equity indicator assesses the situation of the most needy students, who have School Social Support (ASE).

The data released by the Ministry reveal a constant improvement in academic results with students with ASE, with fewer and fewer failing or giving up studying.