Poor teaching or bad school management? Flaws in the literacy and numeracy strategies or failure to invest in them? When it comes to excuses for missing national key stage 2 targets, there is a comforting range of others to blame. Comforting, that is, unless you are a luckless child ill-equipped to move to secondary school.
The literacy and numeracy strategies are more than ideas to improve teaching. They are an aspiration; a call to arms to every teacher, head, governor, official and politician to ensure every child's potential is achieved. If, as Ofsted says, inadequate teaching tolerated by inept management prevents this, it is a corporate failure by the whole education service, including ministers and Ofsted itself. After all, poor teaching and management are the very things a decade of inspection and reform was supposed to eradicate.