Don't make failure worse

10th December 2004 at 00:00
It is depressing that the Office for Standards in Education found 11 failing general FE colleges last year (FEFocus, November 26). But your editorial comment is even more depressing.

It is ludicrous to suggest that these colleges failed, at least in part, because of weaknesses and inequalities in the systems of choice and progression at 14 to 16.

The truth is that there is wide divergence of performance between comparable colleges in broadly similar circumstances. Nothing special stands out about this group of failed colleges in terms of their external contexts.

Another major problem that inspection reveals, and that we need to understand better, is the wide divergence of performance between curriculum areas in the same colleges.

Tom Jupp

103 Hemingford Road

London N1

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today