Have you noticed?;Briefing;Governors

16th April 1999 at 01:00

The Green Paper proposal I like least is the School Performance Award Scheme. The idea is to reward top-of-the-table schools and those making dramatic improvements.

Tables published recently showed that in one of the most improved primary schools 13 out of 16 children achieved level 4 this year as opposed to two last year - a laudable achievement, but statistically impossible to emulate for schools with a steady 80 per cent pass rate.

Of course we should celebrate success against the odds. I know it is bad form to giggle in a hearse, but as I travelled in funeral procession through the back streets of my childhood last week, the local school caught my eye. Surrounded by dilapidated council houses, it had its name and citation emblazoned in the manner of a West End theatre "Named as a Successful School by the OFSTED Inspectors 1996" it shrieked in letters two feet high. I suspect that by night it is floodlit.

OK, so it's a bit naff, but it honoured achievements of that community better than any cash bonus for the staff could ever do.

Joan Dalton

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