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Small schools, big success;Letter

I am disappointed that The TES was not more objective and accurate in "Village primaries get mixed report" (May 21).

While it is true that the Office for Standards in Education's recent comments on small primary schools contain both praise and criticism, you have managed both to introduce some notions of your own and to distort the overall balance of OFSTED's messages.

In a climate in which there is little enough good news from the inspectors, it is a pity that you ignored several important and positive points in the press release (that there are more small schools in the inspectors' list of the top 100 than might be expected statistically) and that you put your own negative slant on some others (for example, by misquoting OFSTED on the quality of leadership in small schools).

It is also surprising that you decided that the report is only about "village" and "rural" primary schools, rather than about every English primary school of up to 100 pupils that was inspected in the first four-year cycle, not all of which are in leafy lanes.

For reasons of its own, OFSTED has not issued its findings about small primary schools as a report. Readers who would like a copy, so that they may see for themselves just how well small schools are doing, are invited to contact me and I'll gladly send them one.

Mike Brogden, Chairman, National Small Schools' Forum, Ferndale, Shipton, Much Wenlock, Shropshire

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