Sir, In your editorial of 9 June it was stated that St Augustine's "has long been a by-word in South Oxfordshire" for "abysmal" educational standards. In the interests of accurate journalism I am sure you would wish to correct this factual inaccuracy. The relevant information about the school is as follows: OFSTED findings (Nov 1998) 1. Good teaching, which leads to good progress
2 Promotes good relationships and positive attitudes between all members of the school community (enhances progress and attainment) 3 Carries out detailed and effective monitoring of attendance 4 Good leadership in senior management 5 Promotes the personal, moral and social development of students well 6 Maintains an effective sixth form provision
Each year OFSTED publishes a summary of information in which the performance of each school is compared with the performance of other similar schools nationally. This is called the PANDA (Performance and Assessment data). The PANDA information for St Augustine's for 1999 shows that the exam grades for both KS3 (14 year olds) and GCSEs are well above average for similar schools.
Notably the performance of boys is particularly good and the school was recently selected for a national study to try and identify good practice in helping boys achieve well at GCSE.
A level students have been successful in gaining university places. For example this year three students gained Oxbridge places to read Chemistry, Law and English despite the recently publicised difficulty of state school students gaining places.
Yours faithfully, LINDA YOUTHED J S MITCHELL Oxfordshire County Council Education Dept, Oxford.