League tables of school results are often criticised for being simplistic. What many educationalists want to see instead are “added value” tables. These would take account of the abilities of pupils when they join the school and thus reflect the difference the school has made to them. However, new research from Cambridge University suggests that this may not be the full answer. It reports that 45 per cent of pupils are actually worse at reading after a year at secondary school, compared to when they left primary school. In other words, we may be forced to measure “subtracted value”, too.
Looks like we could be in for a shock in the European elections in June-the UK Independence Party (UKIP) is set to get 25 per cent of the vote. Or at least that’s the percentage of people who say they will vote for it when told that the UKIP is the only party campaigning to save the pound forever and leave the EU. We’ll have to see if the UKIP is better at getting its message across than it was at the last Euro-elections in 1994 (voting share 1 per cent).
“Britain’s teens are Europe’s delinquents”-this is the newspaper headline which greeted a survey last month showing that British 14- and 15-year-olds were more likely to have taken drugs, shoplifted, fought in the street and vandalised buildings than their counterparts in Holland, Germany and Italy. Possibly right, or maybe British children have been brought up more likely to tell the truth-even to prying social researchers.
Irritated by voice mail? You’re not alone. Seven out of ten callers hang up instead of leaving a message, according to a Management Today report. But in fact this is a good thing. The telephone company Nortel says that 60 per cent of incoming calls are less important than the work they interrupt. So put your voice mail on now and get back to doing something useful.
Compiled by Martin Rosenbaum m.rosenbaum@MCR1.poptel.org.uk