Resigned to lack of perspective;Letter

19th June 1998 at 01:00
It would seem to me that The TES has done us all a great favour by arguing that a discrepancy between test results and inspection judgments means that both are flawed.

Chris Woodhead himself told us last year that "either the Office for Standards in Education is rubbish or performance tables are rubbish" (Observer, April 1997). He now confirms our worst fears by telling us that "inspection is not perfect" - that is, it is flawed. "Benchmarking is not a science," that is, it is also flawed. Does this mean both are rubbish?

He is right to argue that if neither of them are very reliable there will be, as he puts it, a disjunction, which means you don't know which one is correct. But, at the same time, he thinks it is fine to go on using these flawed methods to fail schools, which may on non-flawed judgments not be failing.

How many schools have been erroneously judged in this way and how many teachers' jobs and, in some cases it would seem their lives, have been lost unnecessarily?

A resignation would seem to be called for.

Anthony G Wallis

14 Welwyn Road Hinckley Leicestershire

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today