Worth learning

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I agree with Richard Lucas 
(Letters, 18 September) that 
seeking to equal attainment among pupils is not a sensible or achievable aim.

Variations in abilities, interests, motivation, health, housing, family conditions and incomes are the main cause of differences in performance.

National test results are of little use if their causes are not understood and/or little can be done to improve them.

What children can do is 
mainly determined by what happens to them before the age of five.

The focus should be on improving juvenile health: 30 per cent of children leaving primary school are overweight and/or have lost some of their teeth.

Many at all ages have emotional problems. Mr Lucas seemingly equates education with academic study but attitudes are far more relevant to success in all aspects of life.

Self-confidence, reliability, empathy, honesty, adaptability and willingness to learn and change are key ones.

The real value of schooling cannot be gauged by test results since most of what is learned for these is forgotten or never used in adult life.


Buccleuch Street