Points of view

25th July 2003 at 01:00
* The article "Struggling schools to be denied specialist option" (TES, July 18) indicating that schools with lower than 25 per cent five A*-C grades at GCSE are ineligible to bid for specialist status is incorrect.

The new bidding guidelines say: - Schools applying for specialist status will be expected to demonstrate they have rising standards of overall attainment.

- Schools deemed by the Department for Education and Skills to be facing challenging circumstances will not normally be eligible for designation unless recent examination results show an upward trend.

Finally, there are only 297 secondary schools with less than 25 per cent five A*-C grades at GCSE, not 700 as indicated in the article.

Cyril Taylor Chairman Specialist Schools Trust 37 Queen's Gate South Kensington London SW7

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