Selective about success

23rd February 1996 at 00:00
I read the piece by Bill Laar (TES, February 9) in which he explained the definitions used by the Office for Standards in Education to identify schools with "serious weaknesses". I see the logic. These schools are apparently failing a significant fraction of their pupils.

I turned to scan the list of outstandingly successful secondary schools compiled by the Office for Standards in Education, listed in the same edition.

I read that of the four Buckinghamshire grammars nominated for inspection "Oscars" none dropped below 95 per cent of pupils gaining five or more GCSEs at grades A to C. I cannot see the logic.

In selective grammar schools the entire intake should achieve five or more top grades. These schools are apparently failing up to one in 20 of their pupils yet OFSTED deems them outstanding.

Please will someone explain?

JOHN HULL 2 Beechwood Grove Bradford

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