Positive side of inspectors' report;Opinion;Letter

8th January 1999 at 00:00
THE article, "Unitary authority's schools coasting" (TES, December 18), based on an inspectors' report, was appallingly unbalanced.

It quotes every negative aspect of a single paragraph, which makes explicit mention of "coasting" schools in Leicestershire, and is selective in its quotes from the juxtaposed positive comments.

Our lead inspector made it very clear that she saw this as a good report. The first paragraph of the introductory commentary says "Overall its strengths outweigh its weaknesses". The text is sprinkled with the use of the word "good".

Omitted from your article are glowing references to: the "commitment of members"; the "quality of the support" that members and the wider community receive; the "highly effective" co-ordination of services; the "flexibility" of the LEA; the "very good" support given to schools; the "well designed" project to retain disaffected Year 11 pupils (an example of national good practice); the start of "successful implementation" of a school self-evaluation programme; the influence that the LEA has on school improvement despite the delegation of much of the funding for curriculum support. Many other areas of emerging good practice were identified.

Jackie Strong Director of education, Leicestershire

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