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Mistaken picture of maths performance

On October 3, you printed an article written by myself and two of my colleagues in St John's Primary. The subject was a pilot on setting of pupils for mathematics which took place in our school during the summer term of session 1996-97.

Although the text of the article had been edited and altered, the substance of its message remained the same. However, I am unhappy about the headline which accompanied the article. Our suggested headline had been changed and a new and misleading sub-heading had been put in its place. This read: "St John's Primary School, Portobello, Edinburgh trialled maths setting in an attempt to combat poor performance."

While concern may have been expressed nationally about the performance of Scottish primary pupils in mathematics in recent times, our article was concerned specifically with St John's and our objective in the pilot project was to attempt to enhance further existing good practice and performance.

When our school was inspected, the HMI report which followed the inspection commented in relation to mathematics: "Overall attainment in mathematics was in line with national targets; a significant number of pupils were doing even better in all aspects". This is a true representation of our performance .

E J BRACK

Headteacher, St John's Primary Edinburgh

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