Shaky foun­da­tions

TES (Times Education Supplement) - - FEEDBACK YOU SAY -

The flaw in James Croft’s rig­or­ously de­vel­oped pro­pos­als for the fu­ture of the school sys­tem (“More au­ton­omy turned out to be mere rhetoric”, 28 July) is the Acad­e­mies Act 2010 it­self, about which he ad­mits doubts have “be­gun to emerge”. Can one build a school sys­tem on such shaky statu­tory foun­da­tions? Seven years on, the prob­lems of man­ag­ing a school sys­tem that is based on hav­ing 22,000-plus legally bind­ing con­tracts with a gov­ern­ment min­is­ter me­di­ated by 1,000 to 2,000 academy trusts are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly ob­vi­ous. The goals that Mr Croft wants to achieve of in­creased lo­cal au­ton­omy and a smarter ac­count­abil­ity sys­tem for par­ents and tax­pay­ers, lead­ing to im­proved learn­ing, are, I be­lieve, achiev­able, but not us­ing the gov­ern­ment’s pre­ferred school gov­er­nance model.

John Fowler

Pol­icy man­ager, the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment In­for­ma­tion Unit think­tank

A group of poor Sats set­ters

Re­gard­ing your ar­ti­cle “Sats: Will next year bring more tears and tur­moil?” (28 July): ac­cord­ing to the notes in the pub­lished mark scheme for the Sats read­ing ques­tion quoted, “not stan­dard” is a group of words, but “not stan­dard for to­day’s cross-chan­nel swim­mers” is not and must be marked as wrong. But “not stan­dard” is a pair of words, not a group, be­cause group nor­mally means three or more. Pupils who un­der­stood this and an­swered ac­cord­ingly have been pe­nalised. The ques­tion is in­valid and the paper’s set­ters should be ashamed of them­selves.

Lau­rie Smith

Let’s Think in English, the School of Ed­u­ca­tion, Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and So­ci­ety, King’s Col­lege Lon­don

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