Ethos counts for more than data

21st June 2013 at 01:00

Gerard Kelly's editorial ("Your number's up if you don't embrace the data", 7 June) raised the question of whether data are the all-conquering heroes in education. He is right to say "without data, school and student improvement is virtually impossible". It is also right to say that data are hidden when schools find them inconvenient; trumpeted when they show how successful a school is; and fiddled when it is expedient to do so.

We should all consider the possibility that poor results may actually be improved by a supportive and positive school ethos. It is significant that the principal Mr Kelly mentions, who expressed his relief that the suspects on Crimewatch were not his concern any more ("Oh, thank God. They've sat their GCSEs"), is sadly indicative of where we are as a society. Why didn't the principal respond by saying: "Our school needs to improve its citizenship education and maintain a positive ethos or more students will turn out like this in the future"?

Jon Corfield, Holywell, Flintshire.

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


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