.. what of those not chosen?

13th August 2004 at 01:00
According to Philip Collins "offering choice is one of the ways that schools get better".

However, it is likely that parental choice may actually lead to a decrease in school standards and adversely affect the education received by some of our most vulnerable students. This is because parental school choice is usually made on the basis of published GCSE results rather than school value-added.

In practice, parents prefer schools with high-percentage five A* to Cs and average or below value-added rather than schools with low-percentage five A* to Cs and high value-added. Consequently, schools with high value-added but low percentages of five A* to Cs are more likely not to be chosen and so become undersubscribed.

This has devastating effects because funding depends on the number of students. Not for them the investment and critical mass of students eager to learn that Collins deems necessary for a good school.

Philip Collins made no mention of the fate of the students who do not obtain the school of their choice and who are more likely to be in undersubscribed, underfunded schools with insufficient books and equipment.

Their resources should not be stolen in order to provide choice for the chosen few.

Dr Gill Reed 42 Wimborne Gardens London W13

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