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Don't make failure worse

It is depressing that the Office for Standards in Education found 11 failing general FE colleges last year (FEFocus, November 26). But your editorial comment is even more depressing.

It is ludicrous to suggest that these colleges failed, at least in part, because of weaknesses and inequalities in the systems of choice and progression at 14 to 16.

The truth is that there is wide divergence of performance between comparable colleges in broadly similar circumstances. Nothing special stands out about this group of failed colleges in terms of their external contexts.

Another major problem that inspection reveals, and that we need to understand better, is the wide divergence of performance between curriculum areas in the same colleges.

Tom Jupp

103 Hemingford Road

London N1

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