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Scilly season

I am indebted to a colleague whose question put me on to the following.

There can be few in education who do not refer to the Department for Education and Employment's statistical publications. Most will not usually do so expecting a jolly good laugh, and a truly spectacular own goal by the DFEE.

I commend table 4 (pages 26-30) of the 1995 DFEE Statistics of Education, Schools in England to readers and, in particular, the column showing the number of pupils in all grant-maintained schools in each term. Get a copy soon: it's sure to become a collectors' item.

There is something dreadfully wrong with the data, check your local area or others known to you. The one I particularly like refers to the Isles of Scilly.

The total school population of these delightful islands is 183. None the less, according to the DFEE, among the Atlantic-lashed granite cottages, farms, and guest houses there are 14,362 pupils in grant-maintained schools.

You wouldn't be able to print what the DFEE official responsible said when I rang him.

PETER GALE 41 Barnes View Sunderland

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