Don’t Touch This Poisoned PR Chalice

[BPSDB]According to this article in the Times Ed, a PR firm has mailshot schools to suggest they take part in meaningless experiments.

Tony Attwood of PR firm Hamilton House suggests that schools set up meaningless experiments and get the press interested, in order to exploit the Hawthorn Effect to boost grades.

The article quotes Atwood as saying:-

“This might seem cynical, but if you can get pupils with D grades up to Cs then it may be worth it.”

Call me old Mr. Cynical here but I rather suspect Attwood’s example is carefully chosen. We all know that a school’s position in the league tables is determined by the number of its students who obtain five or more A* to C grades in the GCSE exams. Attwood is thus exploiting school managements’ desire to rise in the league tables.

They should not touch this though; anybody who knows that ethics is not a county north-eatht of London will realise that it is morally dubious to perform meaningless experiments on children. Furthermore, Attwood is quoted as specifically mentioning the need to get the press interested in the stunt. Since he heads up a PR company, you don’t need to take many fish-oil capsules to work out who he has in mind for the job.

Teachers, students and their parents have better things to do than be exploited in a job-creation scheme for a PR company. Just think of the children and bin this mailshot.


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One Response to “Don’t Touch This Poisoned PR Chalice”

  1. Equazen and the ASA - Again « Holford Watch: Patrick Holford, nutritionism and bad science Says:

    […] Education Watch and Letting off steam have covered the story of a PR firm that is encouraging schools to improve […]

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