IN the Premier division of the football league, if one were to benchmark West Brom against Arsenal, the press and public would perceive it to be unfair, given Arsenal's artillery and West Brom's low place in the league.
No one would call West Brom "underperforming" and threaten to send in the equivalent of the local education authority to sort them out.
My school is like West Brom. If you benchmark us against Arsenal's equivalent, it is demoralising. We will learn more from studying the form of the school equivalents of Charlton or Birmingham. Instead of yet more target-setting and the LEA heavy brigade, benchmark us against our equals, put us in touch, and encourage a debate on how children really become learners in key stage 2. Benchmarking then has a value - and something real may be added. The Department for Education and Skills has enough data to produce much more accurate bandings. Do it.
Meltham CE primary school