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Child benefit tax is in `Fairyland'

I hope you will allow me to put the record straight and comment on Michael Barber's Last Word "Walk right in, it's around the back"(TES, January 19).

He has written that I described his suggestion of parents meeting teachers twice yearly to plan a six-month learning programme as "Fairyland". This is not so.

At the press conference, when questioned on funding for his proposals of enforced parental involvement needing more teacher time and involvement, he suggested taxing child benefit to enable parents to receive a voucher they could use to supply the time and buy equipment for children. It was this suggestion I called "Fairyland".

Many parents already meet with teachers. We welcome such good practice and would I am sure also welcome discussing with Michael how realistically we can support schools and help bring in those stay-away parents.

MARGARET MORRISSEY National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations

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