A photo finish doesn't justify complacency

2nd March 2012 at 00:00

If a horse carrying a penalty wins a handicap race by a nose, we'd be wrong to conclude that the extra weight didn't hold it back since, without it, the winning margin would probably have been greater. By analogy, your headline "Speaking English as a second language holds pupils back no longer" (17 February) is not justified by the fact that such pupils have closed the gap on their peers with English as a first language. This is not a trivial point since, on this evidence, if the level of support currently given to pupils with English as an additional language is reduced, progress may be halted or even reversed.

George Bethell, Director, Anglia Assessment, Stowmarket, Suffolk.

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