Unsound bites

1st November 1996 at 00:00
It is a pity that Michael Barber is so easily taken in (TES, October 11). An "Age of Achievement", a "New Labour project" and "three priorities - education, education, education" are meaningless soundbites.

Professor Barber quite rightly states there is a "huge range in performance among schools of different types". We only know this because of the Conservative Government's determination that we should, in the face of entrenched resistance. Many Labour local education authorities either did not want to know that they were shortchanging pupils and parents, or they would not publish the evidence.

The Office for Standards in Education, national tests and publication of results have highlighted the problems and led to improvements. Parents have insisted that inner-city schools in particular get their act together. LEAs such as Tower Hamlets, Lambeth and others have begun to take action. Once the information was public they had to.

Labour opposed the reforms. Now it says education is a priority. Of course, we are near an election.

F D LANKESTER 82 Byfield Rise Worcester

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