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Fancy stat

A glance through The TES reveals a plethora of school emblems that increasingly adorn schools' notepaper, prospectuses - and job adverts. Such badges seem to fall into several types: I counted 23 in last week's issue. Some affirm a school's ideals - "committed to equalopportunities" etc. Then there are awards for which schools mustqualify: Investors in People, Investors in Careers, Charter Mark, Beacon schools, School Curriculum Award, Schools Achievement Award.

Other schools advertise their membership of groupings such as sports, arts, technology or language colleges. And there is a range of other badges that have appeared over the years: Arts Mark, Sport England, Quality Study Support, Millennium Volunteers, Eco-schools, Excellence in Cities, Training School, Education Extra Award, Health Promoting School Award and the Recognition of Quality Award. One advert even proclaims: "The school is funded partly through the New Opportunities Fund."

These days, it is not uncommon for some secondary schools to advertise posts that contain at least four badges. Recently, one even carried as many as eight (sports college, Sports Mark, Curriculum Award, Investor in People, Excellence in Cities, Arts Mark, School Achievement Award and Education Extra). Badge collecting seems so prevalent now that one might well question where all this islikely to end.

e-mail john.howson@lineone.net

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