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Working hard to make pilots work

LET me set the record straight on my views about the key stage 3 pilot programme (TES, October 20).

First, I fully support the strategy, and am committed to making it succeed. It is perhaps the most important improvement initiative to hit secondary schools in the past 10 years. As a pilot authority, Brighton and Hove is 100 per cent behind it.

Second, my only criticisms have been about inflexibility in some of the administrative arrangements, which have caused problems for pilot schools. We have discussed our concerns with Department for Educaion and Employment officials, and are confident that they are now being addressed.

One of the purposes of a pilot is to find out where the difficulties are, and make adjustments as necessary. That is what is happening.

Improving standards in key stage 3 is vital. The sooner the strategy is rolled out nationally the better. That is why pilot schools and local authorities are working intensively with the DFEE to get it right.

David Hawker

Strategic director

Education and lifelong learning

Brighton and Hove Council

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