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Reviewer's case of premature evaluation;FE Letter;Further Education

Patrick Ainley in his review of the first reports from The Learning Society Programme (FE Focus, October 22) is entitled to his views, but I want to correct his factual inaccuracies and repair an omission.

Mr Ainley was an unsuccessful applicant to the programme and his evaluation should be read with that in mind.

The three reports reviewed do not represent the findings of the programme nor do my three introductions represent my "final conclusion". Nor have the three reports been published together but at different times over the past 15 months, and they offer only interim findings, as is clearly stated in the introductions.

The reports are also clearly labelled; Mr Ainley deals with the third as if it were the first, the first as if it were the second, and the second as if it were the third. As is explained in each of the introductions (but not in the review), the findings will be published in two volumes over the coming months. So this review constitutes a classic case of premature evaluation.

Frank Coffield

Director, ESRC Learning Society Programme

University of Newcastle

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