'Hit list' results won't be proof of Labour's success

6th June 1997 at 01:00
Surely everyone has missed the point about the "hit-list" of 18 failing schools (TES, May 23)?

As these schools have been on special measures for at least 18 months, it follows that they must either be at the point of turning around, or in some cases on the point of closing down or already in the process.

Anyone with any sense will know that by setting the deadline at "the end of September", the Secretary of State has actually left only the second half of the summer term to achieve any new results, and the first two weeks of the autumn term for the inspectors to report back. Very little of substance is possible unless schools are already on the turn.

Therefore, the decision to publish so soon after the election, with a nice handy deadline at the start of the new parliamentary term, means that the new Labour government will be able to boast "early results", irrespective of whether anything new has actually been achieved.

Our support must go the teachers, heads, governors, parents and, above all, pupils at those schools for the efforts they are already putting in.

EILEEN GASCOIGNE

43 Alexandra Road Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire

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