League table stigma sticks

16th October 1998 at 01:00
Ted Wragg ("Coast now to hit jackpot later," TES, October 2) is right to anticipate that strategies will be developed to counter league tables based upon "value-added" scores. However such strategies may not always take the overtly hostile form he suggests.

One can already envisage schools advertising themselves as being "able to confirm that it has not been necessary to adjust our league position upwards in the light of social factors", ie "we've got a predominantly well-to-do intake and can now - believe it or not - proclaim it openly". The fact of needing value-added "compensatory relief" would soon, of itself, carry the stigma of social undesirability.

Mr Wragg's analysis is correct: you can't sanitise a bad concept, only abandon it.

Steve Jenkins. National Executive. National Union of Teachers. 3 Stags Way. Osterley. Middlesex

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