Better organisation raises achievement

6th September 1996 at 01:00
I write to support the views expressed by Professor Winter of Anglia Polytechnic University (Letters, TES, August 22).

Our own college's results are getting better, with a rate of annual improvement that considerably exceeds the national one, without significant change in the students' qualifications at entry. I am quite sure that being better at organising and promoting students' learning leads to better results.

However, the idea that ability is fixed is a firmly held belief of some teachers, "a damaging ambiguity", to use Professor Winter's phrase - even though it is directly contradicted by commonplace observations of human behaviour.

The current danger induced by the schools and colleges league tables is that of acting on this belief and allowing only "worthy" students through to the examination entry stage. Many of the "top 100" state schools, according to the A-level results, are producing a surprisingly small number of successful candidates. Instead of being "filters", educational institutions should be "pumps", judged by "volume" and "pressure" of the output. That is, league tables should rank schools and colleges by total numbers of successful students at several levels of attainment, rather than just average score per student.

TERRY PITCHER Chief executive South East Essex College Southend-on-Sea Essex

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now