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Wrong measure of Sure Start

The article "Can we be sure it works ?" (TES April 15) (about the Sure Start programme for under-fives and their families in deprived areas) reminds me of the folly that informs too many official evaluations and inspections: the folly of concentrating on "products" to the exclusion of "processes".

Sure Start may or may not have met its four clear measurable targets (or products) but the prime criterion for its evaluation should be whether or not it is enhancing the quality of life now for very young children and their parents.

If the processes involved in Sure Start are accomplishing this, then in my book the programme has to be judged a success. It requires no further justification in terms of meeting spurious, measurable targets.

Professor Colin Richards 1 Bobbin Mill Spark Bridge, Cumbria

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