Full confidence in action zones

18th September 1998 at 01:00
The front-page headline "Zones may fail for lack of profit" (TES, September 4) misrepresented the main points made in our discussion with Frances Rafferty, and reported in her article which followed the headline.

Contrary to the messages implied by the headline, we are confident that the Newham education action zones can succeed; we have confidence in the potential of the Government's action zone initiative to foster productive improvements in our education system; and we are not privy to any information that would enable us to "warn" the Government of the potential for "failure" in any other zones.

We do feel, however, that an open discussion is needed about the prerequisites for creating and sustaining productive change in a system that has been allowed by all of us to lag behind other developments in our society for many years. Without such prerequisites, the action zones are unlikely to progress as rapidly as our young people, their parents and our educational staff deserve.

We live in times of tight financial constraint. Taxpayers are rightly concerned that scarce public funds should be wisely invested.

Accordingly, if an absolute increase in funding is not available, the Government may well have to consider focusing current funding commitments more intensively on those zones which demonstrate the ability to deliver superior improvements in performance. Once successful improvement examples become evident, the costs of replicating these practices across the sector will fall materially.

Arthur Andersen is pleased to be able to play a part in this important evolutionary process.

Graham A J Walker Head of government and education services Arthur Andersen London WC2

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