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Benefits of GM status

Grant-maintained schools have been most effective in improving standards in areas of greatest poverty - contrary to your summary of research by the Child Poverty Action Group (TES, March 3).

In GM schools in which more than one-fifth of pupils receive free meals, 25 per cent of 15-year-olds achieved five or more A-C grades at GCSE in 1993.

The figure in similar council schools was 19 per cent - a marked difference.

GM schools in disadvantaged areas give real additional opportunities to children.

They are able to spend in the classroom, on books, equipment and teachers, money that would otherwise be spent on central services. And, as GM status is available to every school, so its undoubted benefits are on offer to every pupils.

ANDREW TURNER

Director of the Grant-Maintained Schools Foundation

36 Great Smith Street

London SW1

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