They said...

5th October 2007 at 01:00
"Scandal of the 18 per cent increase in failing schools" Daily Express

of the 6,120 inspected last year.

Hang on, isn't that a drop? Why, so it is! That's good news. But only if you read right to the very end.

We say...

Percentages are useful in headlines. They can sometimes deliver big numbers from small changes.

Yes, there really has been an 18 per cent rise in the proportion of schools which inspectors found were in special measures, compared with last year.

Forget that it reflects an increase of just 38 schools out of the 22,918 in England. The truth is even more interesting.

Read on through Ofsted's report and you find that 2.2 per cent of the 8,300 schools inspected were in special measures this year, compared with 2.7 per cent

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