More competition, but who wins?

6th August 2010 at 01:00

As your leading article says, competition between schools as a key means of "driving up" standards, is intensifying ("Competition has a role but must be kept in check", July 30). Yet the evidence supporting this push is flimsy. The Institute for Fiscal Studies, in its report on the pupil premium, reviewed international research and concluded that, "Despite the numerous studies available, there is no definitive evidence for the effects of school competition". They added that, "The provision of new schools has the potential to increase segregation in schools".

The constant structural changes designed to promote competition are distracting, costly and divisive. They are also founded on an unproven assumption. Isn't it time for more grown-up policy-making?

Professor Ron Glatter, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.

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