Bad judgment

13th September 1996 at 01:00
With reference to comments by Dr John Marks and Gillian Shephard on primary national test results, our new reception-class children have now been in school for three weeks, our holiday pattern being different to that nationally.

Some do not speak. Some speak incoherently. A significant number cannot name colours. We shall work hard to help these children. It is unlikely that any will be "statemented".

We shall make too much progress with them for that. So we will not benefit from the extra funding that a statement brings.

We are a small school with a small budget and so cannot really provide the extra support that such children need and deserve. (We lost an 0.5 teacher in June). We shall just work very hard.

Their pre-school linguistic deprivation will affect the progress that the children make with us and will be reflected in our test results when the children reach 16.

Accordingly, Mrs Shephard will judge us to be a "bad" school.

Such a misjudgment beggars belief.

KEN SHARPLES Name and address of school supplied

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