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Blunkett wrong on targets

There is a dangerous implication in David Blunkett's belief "that he could have achieved the 2001 numeracy and literacy targets" (TES, December 17), namely that he had a hand in the level of achievement.

In 1999 the accusation was made that the levels of achievement in national tests were being manipulated for political purposes. The Rose inquiry (published under the title Weighing the Baby) demonstrated that this was not true. Threshold scores for each national curriculum level were and are set by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority based on statistical and empirical evidence.

As the person accountable at QCA for that process in 2001 I can assure Mr Blunkett that the evidence was clear: for all the effort and skill being put in by teachers and pupils, progress was being made towards the targets but they had not been reached.

Tim Cornford. General manager, nferNelson. The Chiswick Centre. 414 Chiswick High Road. London W4

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