Effect of pupils' lives outside school;Letter

13th March 1998 at 00:00
I would urge your readers to find again Howard Glennerster's compressed appraisal of the relationship between poverty and educationtraining. (TES, February 27).

I would suggest that future performance tables for schools include an extra statistic which recognises that any pupil's motivation and ability to get the most out of the school are significantly affected by the quality of that pupil's life outside of the school.

Let schools' performances be judged and compared in the light of at least one indicator of the pupils' home factors. (Some may object to such indicators labelling the catchment area but surely this has already been done by the performance tables).

Indicators would be general statistics about the whole year group such as Professor Glennerster's percentage of pupils taking up free school meals (an easily available statistic) or the percentage of pupils with fewer than two parents at home or the percentage of pupils from homes with no working adult.

If it is accepted that factors like these cause some pupils to achieve below their potential in the classroom and in examinations, then publishing general indicators of pupils' home factors would give everyone concerned a truer idea of the effort made by the school - the teaching staff and the pupils.

Nick Ainley

27 Chailey Avenue Rottingdean Brighton East Sussex

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