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Targets are the handicap, not strategies

I should clarify my quote on "the stupidity of targets" ("Hell-bent on reform, but who cared about teacher morale?", September 17). The interview with John Macbeath was in the context of the introduction of the nationwide literacy and numeracy strategies in 1998, which I am a great fan of - the literacy and numeracy hours, excellent supporting teaching materials, the very talented teams of professionals who support teachers.

I believe most teachers, following an initial reluctance, quickly came to respect these facets. What upset most primary schools was being given targets in "brown envelopes", with next to no consultation and spewed out by a linear regression model based on the central diktat that nationally 80 per cent would achieve level 4 in literacy.

Sandy Adamson, Department for Education, 1997-2002.

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