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Sentiments not shared on ground;Letter

It is reassuring to read that David Taylor, of the Office forStandards in Education, notes the importance of "persuading more schools to get involved in partnership with higher education institutions" (TES, Letters March 6). What a pity that some OFSTED inspectors do not share his sentiments.

I am particularly proud of the partnership arrangements between my school and two local universities. Half my staff have given up their own time to attend a series of evening mentoring courses. We commit a considerable amount of time and expense to ensure that we give the students who train with us as much support as possible.

I was surprised therefore that our recent draft OFSTED report made no mention of this. When I queried this with our inspector, he informed me "there is no box to put this information in using the current framework".

Even if this is true, what a chance OFSTED is missing to give a clear signal of the value and importance it attaches to effective partnerships between schools and universities. Especially as I know that one of our universities lost 20 student placements last term due to schools withdrawing due to pending OFSTED inspections.

M J BARKER. Headteacher. Bispham Drive Junior School. Toton, Nottingham

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