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Blair kills universal ideal

Tony Blair's white paper not only endangers the progress we have made for working-class pupils in Portsmouth, which has just had its best-ever GCSE results, but appears to be the final phase of the derogation of schools from the Children Act.

Whichever way you say it, his non-LEA secondaries will be selective. And where do the children go who haven't been selected? Doesn't "Every Child Matter" any more?

Local authorities will have to stand on the sidelines as unelected parent councils make decisions about admissions, discipline and budgets.

I am angry that schools will no longer be a universal service best-placed to serve the needs of all children. And are all bets off with regard to safeguarding Building Schools for the Future, extended schools, curriculum reform, and healthy school meals?

Is it hello again to sin bins and sink schools, and disaffected kids roaming the streets? Someone please wake me up.

Eleanor Scott. Lead member for education, children and families Portsmouth City Council Guildhall Square Portsmouth

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