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KS2 targets were not 'too high'

It was disappointing that your article "Government admits targets 'too high'" (TES, July 6) failed to celebrate the success of teachers and pupils in primary schools over the past four years; that it also misquoted me is of much less importance.

What I said at the National Association of Emotional and Behavioural Difficulty Schools conference was that there is a strong case for challenging targets. When they were set, the 2002 targets were indeed seen as stretching. They were meant to be - the need to raise standards was urgent. But they had been carefully, realistically constructed and I never suggested otherwise. Both literacy and numeracy task forces said the targets were achievable if they were backed by the right national strategies - as they were.

The education service is on course to meet the Government's (key stage 2) targets of 80 per cent of pupils getting level 4 in English and 75 per cent in maths by 2002. Given that, I simply do not see how the targets can now be considered unreasonable.

Chris Wells Special Educational Needs Division Department for Education and Skills Great Smith Street, London SW1

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