Morris says sorry for comprehensive error

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The Independent Online

The Government apologised for downgrading the results of "bog-standard" comprehensives after publishing GCSE league tables. Ministers have been forced to concede they were wrong on the difference in the improvement rate between the new specialist schools they have set up and existing comprehensives.

Estelle Morris, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, had claimed the rise in pupils obtaining five top-grade passes at GCSE was 1.3 per cent in specialist schools, compared to 0.6 per cent in other comprehensives. Now her department had admitted the true figure for other comprehensives is 1 per cent.

The Government was also accused of trying to bury its apology in a note at the bottom of a press release on the primary school performance league tables. A DfES spokeswoman said: "This error came to light well after the tables were published and the press release issued."