It seems that we have been given some genuine new money with which to specifically target raising pupils' attainment. This has got to be good. However, it does seem that aiming at an increase in level 5s by raising level 4s is a bit of a soft target, which will no doubt look very impressive in 2004. What about the underachieving tail?
Should we not be more concerned with the ones who really struggle, rather than raising pupils from one arbitrary level to another? Employers and educators are concerned about young people leaving school with no skills, not which national curriculum level they are at.
Also, the target is set at raising achievement so that 70 per cent gain the current average of level 5. Surely if that many pupils achieve the grade, it will no longer be the average!
I hope that in achieving this target there is a real improvement in the quality of understanding and not just a statistical improvement or, worse still, a dilution of standards.
Mike Baker 90 Dover Road Gravesend Kent