Letters extra: How to fix league tables

17th October 2003 at 01:00

It is reassuring to know that amid the spin and deceit of New Labour, The TES can be relied upon to pursue truth.

I refer to your article concerning Thomas Telford school's profiteering from selling its GNVQ in ICT to other schools ("School nets pound;7m in sales of exam", TES , October 3). This artificially raises schools' positions in league tables, since the GNVQ is worth the same as four GCSEs at A* to C.

League tables have been disastrous for children, schools and teachers. Schools in affluent areas are invariably near the top while those in areas of deprivation linger near the bottom.

After years of being derided for poor results, I suppose struggling schools will grasp at any straw offered to them. The irony is that the Govenment is willing to assist school heads and governors to manipulate - albeit legally - results and positions in league tables.

When will we have politicians with the courage and decency to admit they were wrong, instead of manipulating statistics to attempt, unsuccessfully, to cover their mistakes and prove themselves right?

Christine Lees
13, Islestone Court,
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Northumberland

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