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GM results

I would have credited Martin Rogers with more competence than he shows in making such ill-founded claims about GCSE achievement in grant-maintained secondary schools. (TES, May 26).

The data he uses from the examination tables and from a parliamentary answer to Estelle Morris MP are hopelessly inadequate. If it proves anything, his claim shows how anxious he is to find the smallest scintilla of evidence to support his propaganda against GM schools which have nothing to hide and much of which to be proud.

We shall be pleased to co-operate in any research commissioned by either Chris Woodhead, the Chief Inspector, or by the Education Secretary.

That would need to take into account a reasonable timescale for GM schools to have initiated measures to raise standards and for them to manifest themselves in results. It may also be able to use the most recent work on "added value" which must surely give the most accurate picture.

Since Small Heath School (60 per cent of pupils on free meals) received GM status is 1989 achievement in the GCSE examination has improved by nearly 300 per cent and our pupils scored very well indeed on the Newcastle University's YELLIS "added value" analysis of last year's results. Other GM schools have achieved more - and we are working hard to catch up with them!

CECIL KNIGHT

Chairman, Grant-Maintained Schools Advisory Committee Small Heath School Birmingham

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