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Letters extra: Students on the rack?

Under the heading "External Affairs" (TES 25 January) you suggested that we have too much external assessment. I beg to differ.

As a Conservative spokesperson on education once famously remarked, repeated national tests are essential because "children need to be stretched and measured against each other". This clearly makes good sense.

We all know that if a child is too short for its age, the answer is to keep measuring it - and reminding it that everyone else is so much taller. Children who still stubbornly refuse to grow properly (ie to at least the average number of centimetres) will cause their school to come lower in the league table (lack of stature results in lack of status and the threat of relegation). In extreme cases a school could even be put under the Special Measurers!

So, what ought to happen is that these recalcitrant shorties should be segregated in the Special Tallness Unit - STU - they can STU until they show Height Advancement (HA!).

There they would be mentored and monitored by the SS (Special Stretching) team and rigorously prepared for the Progress in Measurement Test (or PMT). This system would be known as apart height.

Peter Tallon
58 Bideford Way
WS11 1QAnbsp;nbsp;nbsp;

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