Achievements lost in targets

28th March 2003 at 00:00
THE articles on the high turnover of heads in schools facing challenging circumstances highlighted this important issue (TES, March 14).

Unfortunately, your dated photograph and use of quotes managed to reinforce the misconceptions many hold about Lilian Baylis school. Our buildings have improved greatly and bear little resemblance to the photo used.

Similarly, the article did not detail our achievements. These include: key stage 34 value-added in the top 5 per cent; an 80 per cent fall in exclusions; an attendance rate of 92.5 per cent.

All schools facing challenging circumstances have a number of similar achievements. However the push for all schools to reach the targets for five A* to C grade GCSEs means that is often all schools are judged by.

Your article did little to examine this tension between the Government's new indicator of a "good" school facing challenging circumstances and what the majority believe is a more valid indicator of a "good" school.

Lastly, might I suggest the creation of an association for schools facing challenging circumstances. We should be lobbying together for what we believe in.

Gary Phillips Headteacher, Lilian Baylis school Kennington, London SE1

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