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THEY SAID...

Nobody outside the Government believes standards of education have risen in this country over the past 10 years The Independent WE SAY...

Although sceptics outside government will question the reliability of year-on-year rises in test and exam results as guides to improving standards, generally the public views school performance positively.

An Ipsos Mori poll earlier this month found that a third of people believe the quality of education will improve over the next five years, and less than a quarter felt it would decline.

This is a better figure than the pollsters uncovered for the NHS, transport, policing or the environment.

Independent measures outside of government control also point to a rise in standards in recent years, even if they have not been as uniform as the improvements in exam results have suggested.

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