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Where Wales leads

THE news that Wales may abandon school performance tables will inevitably lead to calls for England to follow suit. Why should mad dogs and the English alone persist in this annual affront to the teaching profession?

But putting that particular genie back in the bottle may not be so simple. No one could possibly argue that consumers have no right to the information in the tables. And if it exists in any form, local and national newspapers will simply cobble together their own partal, and less reliable, comparisons - as they did when the Government attempted to withhold primary school results. It is the press, after all, which turns the alphabetically organised lists into league tables.

The objection to the present tables is not to the information but to interpretations placed upon it. So the sooner reported performance reflects where pupils started out as well as how far they have progressed, the fairer and more useful these tables will be.


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