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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 July 2005, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
'Deferred success' plan a failure
School tests
Teachers reject idea to replace "fail" with "deferred success"
A retired teacher has lost her fight to have the word "fail" replaced by "deferred success" in education speak.

Liz Beattie, from Ipswich, Suffolk, put forward the motion at the Professional Association of Teachers' conference.

She argued many children were put off learning for life after being labelled "failures" but her colleagues rejected the move as "a foot-in-mouth motion".

Ian Pringle, from Canvey Island, Essex, said: "We'll be ridiculed. Please do not vote for this motion."

Another delegate said failure was not a word used in schools anyway these days.

Mrs Beattie told the conference: "I feel very strongly about this. For most of my teaching career I have been upset by seeing some children give up on themselves.

"If dropping the word 'fail' from our educational vocabulary could help, isn't it worth a try?"

The motion provoked criticism from media commentators and Education Secretary Ruth Kelly, who said it deserved "nought out of 10".

Hear Ruth Kelly on Radio 4's Today Programme

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