Bad form

14th October 2005 at 01:00
Schools are used to implementing initiatives which do not perform as expected and the School Evaluation Form, an integral part of the new inspection regime, is no exception.

The website on which schools input their data has not been user-friendly, despite Department for Education and Skills protestations that early problems have been ironed out.

The new concern is the use by inspection teams of data provided by Fisher Family Trust. Previously schools were used to discussing Panda data, (itself not the most sophisticated data but at least everyone was discussing the same thing) but some schools are now reporting that FFT data does not match Panda content and this dichotomy can affect the outcome of the inspection.

But who is the Fisher Family Trust and can schools trust its information? Its website suggests it is a charity organisation that gathers and sells on data - a strange raison d'etre for a charity.

Furthermore, why is the DfES presumably paying for information which is supposed to match the Panda, which costs them little as schools provide the material?

Tony Roberts. 144 Cop Lane Penwortham Preston, Lancs

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