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Businesses running schools would create problems

I have both business and research interests in business links with primary schools and marketing to children.

In view of the number of companies providing schools with "free" equipment and resources, early in 1997 I did research among teachers and parents in an attempt to establish their approval of such schemes.

Both groups were in general agreement that business had something to offer education, but materials and assistance must only be provided on the basis that it benefit children first and foremost. Many actively encouraged business involvement in school life, however, and - something the Government should take note of - both teachers and parents firmly believe that government should not use business funding of education as an excuse to underfund it.

From my research, the move towards businesses running schools is likely to throw up more questions than it might be attempting to answer. Many parents will find it obscene that a profit is being made out of teaching their children. Teachers will feel that they are the ones who will suffer, in particular, with a loss of income andor even more stress.

PAUL COWELL

16 Alderley Road Sale Moor, Cheshire

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