A FORMER maths teacher at Largs Academy believes the current way of marking pupils performance doesn't add up.

Conservative councillor Tom Marshall has hit out at the performance figures which sees the secondary 'languishing' in the low 50s in new national education league tables released this week.

He labelled initiatives such as the Curriculum for Excellence as 'disastrous' while questioning if North Ayrshire Council's assessment was a true reflection and is sugar coating what he sees as a worrying drop in attainment.

Councillor Marshall said: "Now that the Scottish Government has removed pupils from PISA ( the programme of international student assessment) and the SSLN (Scottish Survey of Literature and Numeracy) it it is difficult to objectively measure pupil performance.

"One has therefore to resort to the league tables which record the percentage of pupils achieving 5+Higher passes.

"I am always amazed that North Ayrshire Council implies that performance is improving from year to year - but a simple analysis of these tables would suggest otherwise.

"Overall the performance of the council by this measure has declined by 2.4 per cent unlike neighbouring councils of South Ayrshire and East Ayrshire which have increased 0.5 per cent and three per cent respectively

"Largs Academy continues to languish at position 58 in the table where as in previous years it was in the top 20.

"I do have concern on performance across the authority.

"Another more important influence is the generally accepted disastrous influence of the Curriculum for Excellence. The Scottish Government itself has failed to come up to the mark."

Labour councillor Alex Gallagher said: "I am not exactly a fan of the league tables and the manner in which comparisons are made which I don't think are truly reflective.

"Former head teacher Heather Burns did a great job in transferring the school across from the old site to the new campus and got the school up and running with an improved performance over that year.

"To my mind, this is a temporary blip and we now have a new head teacher and team up and running to make sure performance improves next year.

"I would agree with Tom that the Curriculum for Excellence hasn't worked and schools have been starved of resources.

"I am not convinced by school league tables; it is more important that schools are turning out well rounded and academically able children and should look into a number of factors including school results."

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson: “We believe that the simplistic method of ranking schools in a league table format is outdated and does not properly reflect or analyse the outstanding work which is being delivered throughout our schools in North Ayrshire.

“Schools across the authority continue to make very good progress in raising attainment and achievement across the board.

“Attainment levels can fluctuate in every local authority from year to year if looking at individual cohorts of leavers.

“Highers are a vitally important part of that range of qualifications but should not be seen in isolation."