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From one extreme to the other

I refer to the story on Sir Michael Wilshaw's "damning verdict on the performance of colleges" ("'Shine a light' on FE, says Ofsted after grim verdict", 30 November).

The report identified an increasing proportion of colleges rated inadequate or satisfactory - this year, 16 per cent were judged inadequate and 49 per cent were satisfactory. Specific issues highlighted for FE colleges were that not enough young people were securing good skills in English and maths, and that the quality of teaching was "still not good enough". To top it all, not a single college inspected was judged to be providing outstanding teaching and learning.

Another story in the same issue reported that FE colleges are being offered up to #163;355,000 by the Office of the Schools Commissioner to sponsor a failing primary school ("Be 'friendly option' for primaries, colleges urged"), with the added incentive that if they send an email application it could be approved by the end of the following week. You really couldn't make it up.

Steve Harrison, Education Guild.

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