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Primary review must combat league table misery

The newly launched primary review is long overdue, though it needs to be careful not to claim too much for its efforts. One of the least acknowledged acts of political vandalism was the abolition a decade ago of the provision for a Central Advisory Council for Education which could commission wide-ranging reports such as the Newsom report (1963) and the Plowden report (1967). In the changed educational circumstances of the early 21st century, the system badly needs such independent, wide-ranging enquiries.

Why does a charitable foundation have to fund it? And how can it be as comprehensive, authoritative and influential as its predecessor without the benefit of HMI inspection evidence and advice (now sadly lacking in Ofsted) and with an expenditure of only pound;85,000 (compared with the pound;120,000 at 1960s prices used to produce the Plowden report)?

Professor Colin Richards. Spark Bridge, Cumbria

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