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Personal effort lost in the tables

Shortly after reading the GCSE results performance tables in The TES and sharing the frustration of seeing our school's results wrongly reported in a local paper, I lunched with a relative who was formerly a heating and ventilating engineer for the Inner London Education Authority. Since redundancy he has been happily employed as a salesman by a double glazing company.

Though approaching 60 he is not planning to retire, despite the unsocial hours he works. He and his wife spoke enthusiastically of a recent trip to Paris - a reward for good sales figures. His bonus for this year, he told us, will go up from 17 to 20 per cent of his annual salary if he makes only a few more sales before the end of the year.

What, I wondered, would be his attitude if instead of bonuses and rewards, his company's sales were published nationally in a league table of all double glazing companies, and the benefits of his own hard work and skills were subsumed into the total for his company. Would he be so enthusiastic then?


Learning support teacher Kirkstone House School Peterborough

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