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Pandas are too old to be useful;Letters;News amp; opinion

IN VIEW of the Office for Standards in Education enthusiasm for castigating inefficiency in schools, it would be helpful for it to demonstrate a high degree of efficiency. Unfortunately this is not always the case.

College Park in common with other special schools, has just received its first Performance Assessment Data Report - known by the cuddlier name of PANDA. The report offers a means of comparing the performance of any given school or LEA with its peers and states it draws its conclusions from 1998 data.

In order for comparisons to be meaningful they must be based on facts and statistics that are as up to date as possible. In the case of College Park the facts and statistics are more than three years out of date.

Since its first OFSTED inspection, College Park has made, as was acknowledged very wholeheartedly in the report of the 1998 inspection, very considerable improvements in every area of the school.

If similar mistakes have been made for other schools the whole value of the PANDA report is undermined and school targets cannot be realistically set in line with government recommendations.

Carol Brigstocke

Chairman of governors

College Park school

Garway Road, London W2

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