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Premature speculation

I SUSPECT that your report heralding the demise of education action zones may be premature.

It is hardly a sign of failure that the first 25 zones have been extended for a further two years beyond their initial life of three years; that 48 zones, rather than the expected 25, were established in the second round; that zones have paved the way for the incorporation of 40 mini-zones within the Excellence-in-Cities programme; and that the methodology of zones has been integrated into the nwly-announced Excellence Clusters initiative. It is not as if there was ever any expectation that zones would become a permanent feature of the educational scene.

Moreover, the inference that any decision to "halt" the education action zone experiment is connected to the Ofsted inspection of zones also jumps the gun, given that no formal report has yet been published!

Dr Terry Powley Director North Southwark education action zone School House 48 Lant Street, London SE1

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