League of their own

29th October 2004 at 01:00
We are grateful to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers which operates in a patch a bit south of here. After much hard negotiation, the union has finally forced ministers in England to rename "performance tables" as "achievement and attainment tables".

We wondered what exactly is the difference between "performance", "achievement" and "attainment".

"Can I get back to you on that?" the association's press officer said.

We learnt later that "performance" asserts "unhelpful nuances about what schools actually do", whereas "achievement" and "attainment" are quite different things entirely. What would we do without them?

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