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