Letters extra: Nottingham's schools

27th July 2001 at 01:00

Nottingham's director of education Heather Tomlinson has introduced a whole new dimension into the debate over plans to give Forest comprehensive to the Djanogly CTC ("Vision for the future in college takeover" July 13). We had been led to believe that the reason the council agreed to go down this road is because of surplus places in the city, and their fear that if they didn't take decisive action the Education Department would force the closure of one or other city secondary school.

Throughout the whole consultation, there has been no suggestion that the CTC offers higher standards than at any other city school, and in value added terms the CTC is most certainly far behind Forest comprehensive.

We have always argued that the real agenda is one of attracting back into the city children whose parents have sent them to secondary schools in the county. That many of these are children who failed to get a place at the CTC makes the CTC option attractive to the city council. This, however, has little to do with the real quality of education in the city, and rather more with formal attainment and league tables and perhaps gaining kudos with the new minister at the Education Department for compliance with new labour's policy of so-called diversity in provision.

The CTC takeover will add nothing to the quality of education in the city, nor will it solve the problem of excess places. Ironically, over the next four years an expanded CTC will increase the city's surplus spaces.

Rob Peutrell
"Defenders of Forest School",
New Basford,
Nottingham

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