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Lost boys and audit findings

Your article ("Lost Boys", TES, January 19) on tuition for excluded pupils certainly generated quite a postbag (TES, February 2). The orginal article was based on the Audit Commission's local authority performance information.

Mick O'Brien from Bradford Council implies that the information on Bradford was wrong, but then quotes the hours of alternative tuition provided rather than - as the commission measures - the hours actually attended. We have a signed confirmation from Bradford Council that the information we publishe is correct.

Oliver Flavin made some odd criticisms of the performance measure we use.

We consulted widely on the indicator before we specified it and got overwhelming support - it has since been adopted by the Government as a best-value performance indicator.

The TES used the information to comment on education for excluded pupils, and that is in keeping with our aim of stimulating an informed public debate.

Steve Evans Head of performance information Audit Commission 1 Vincent Square London SW1

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