Longsands debate goes on

THE chairman of Longsands College governing body (Letters, December 2) is being disingenuous when he suggests that there has been no decline in performance at the college and accuses me of being selective in the use of statistics. Indeed, Mr Hyde is sel

THE chairman of Longsands College governing body (Letters, December 2) is being disingenuous when he suggests that there has been no decline in performance at the college and accuses me of being "selective" in the use of statistics.

Indeed, Mr Hyde is selective himself in suggesting that the 2009 performance alone is evidence of a high-performing institution. The 2009 performance has yet to be published formally and cannot be assessed until the county and national averages have also been published.

The known facts are clear: while the county average performance was increasing from 2005 to 2008 by four percentage points, Longsands's was dropping by six points. This is a decline in performance both absolutely and relatively. It's also interesting to note in the 2009 performance published recently that once again the feeder primary schools for Longsands have significantly outperformed those for St Neots Community College.

However, this debate is not about Longsands's performance alone. It is about making the county council understand that the two St Neots secondary schools have distinct and separate characteristics which are governed by their catchments. Consequently, combining the schools' managements into a single federation is not an appropriate solution.


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Longsands must be allowed to continue its efforts towards excellence, and Mr Hyde must keep his eye on that ball on his own field. The game, pitch, rules and shape of the ball are different for St Neots CC and the county needs to provide that school with a dedicated and experienced schools change management resource to turn the performance round and, in its own way, provide an excellent education for its pupils.

The easiest way for this to happen is for Mr Hyde and his colleagues to veto the prospect of federation, which is in their gift.

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PETER JONES

Wistow Court

St Neots

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