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Education 'food labels' mean FE menu needs an upgrade

Regarding your piece "`College success rates distorted'" (November 6), while we would not condone data manipulation, colleges work hard with imprecise and immensely complicated guidance in this area, as well as an over-focus by policymakers on success rates, rather than individual student needs. We are confident that national success rates reflect the "real world" and real improvements in outcomes for students.

The Association of Colleges has, however, recognised the need to move forward to clarify the guidance around which the individual learner record is compiled. In agreement with the LSC we have set up a data quality group which, following a call for volunteers, includes senior principals, vice- principals and management information specialists. They will lead the way in ensuring that there is uniform clarity of interpretation of data guidelines.

Martin Doel, Chief executive, Association of Colleges.

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