Putting the record straight on a question of balance

16th February 1996 at 00:00
Christine Whatford examines how schools can achieve a balanced intake (TES, February 2) and states that an unbalanced intake is usually associated with under-subscribed schools and if such a school were to take 10 per cent of above- average pupils, the intake in such cases would probably still be skewed towards the lower end. In this hypothesis she is correct.

However, she is not correct when she states that my school had transformed its unbalanced intake to a balanced intake by selecting 10 per cent of its pupils by ability. Had she read carefully The Sunday Times article, (January 14) to which she alludes, she would have discovered that Archbishop Tenison's School has had permission from the Education and Employment Secretary to administer tests so that we can admit pupils in the proportion of 40 per cent above average, 40 per cent average and 20 per cent below average. There has never been any question of this school being undersubscribed, and your readers might be interested to know that we had 207 applications for the 92 places available this coming September intake, and that we are full in all ability bands. I hope that this puts the record straight.

BRIAN K JONES Headteacher Archbishop Tenison's School 55 Kennington Oval London SE11

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