Crucial targets

22nd March 1996 at 00:00
You rightly describe the Office for Standards in Education's report "Setting targets to raise standards" as a gem (TES, March 8). We want all schools to set targets for raising levels of attainment. But we also need the national targets. Let me explain why.

The national targets for education and training set out what the UK as a whole must achieve by the year 2000 if we are to become more competitive internationally. Those targets have very widespread support - from the Government, the Confederation of British Industry, the Trades Union Congress, the local authority associations and many others. In education, the National Association of Head Teachers and the Secondary Heads Association are among those working to promote the national targets.

But the national targets are not enough by themselves. The OFSTED report makes clear that all schools need to set their own targets, taking account both of the national targets and of the school's particular circumstances. This is not an empty exercise in figure-work. It is an excellent way of helping each child to achieve their full potential. It is also an excellent way of keeping Britain competitive. Both goals are vitally important.

PETER DAVIES Chairman National Advisory Council for Education Training and Targets Grays Inn Road London WC1.

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