PIPS: the core facts

I WAS surprised and disappointed to see Professor Eric Wilkinson's misleading letter about the Performance Indicators in Primary Schools project (TESS, October 2). Surprised because the original article by David Henderson (TESS, September 18) was a fair and informative article about the work in Aberdeen. Disappointed because Professor Wilkinson's review of baseline assessments south of the border had also been well informed.

However, anyone involved in PIPS (Performance Indicators in Primary Schools) would simply not recognise the description in his letter and the record now needs to be set straight.

The PIPS project is designed to provide high quality information for teachers and schools so that they might add to their professional knowledge of pupils and their school. It is founded on the idea that feedback is the essence of improvement and as a project it has been very responsive to teachers and schools.

Far from being "managerial" or "outdated" it is designed to be useful to schools and depends for its very existence on the perception by schools of its value. It is based on the latest research, efficent technology and cutting edge assessment techniques.

The project has grown enormously since its inception five years ago as schools have joined the project either on an individual basis or as part of a wider group. More than 3,000 schools are now part of the project which is run by professionals at a university for professionals in schools.

(Dr) Peter Tymms

Director, PIPS project, CEM Centre, University of Durham

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