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The joys of teaching;Briefing;Research focus

"All three were defensive, not to say hostile, despite my assurances that I was engaged in a small, independent empirical study, not an inspection or other inquisitorial exercise. After a short while, the head of performing arts folded his arms, fixed me with a hard stare and said: "None of this (value added) is any use to me. After 30 years in the profession, I know what my pupils are capable of, I don't need bloody number-crunchers churning out reams of meaningless figures." Then getting up, he said: 'Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go and rehearse the school concert'."

'Schools' use of value- added data: a science in the service of an art?', by Lesley Saunders and Peter Rudd, National Foundation for Educational Research e-mail: l.saunders@nfer.ac.uk

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